Re: Microsoft Claimed IP, License Terms, etc.
Hadmut Danisch wrote:
Claiming a patent on such a minor and trivial 'invention' is unworthy
of any serious software company. Given the fact that Bill Gates was
still talking about making e-mails expensive and digital stamps a few
months ago, Microsoft must face the question why they didn't invent
anything on their own, but need to abuse such trivial
'microinventions' to hijack other people's ideas.
I was about to ask regarding that too. I thought that there was a
set of requirements to determine if something was patentable.
Something to the efect that it has to be implimentable - You are not
supposed to be able to patent ideas only implimentations of them, the
fact that software is so close to the
pure expression of the underlying idea is one of the strong arguments
against software patents.
I think some of the other requirements are no published prior art,
uniqueness, novelty, usefullness, and non-obviousness.
I think Hadmut's reference to this being a trivial micro-invention,
is approximately equivalent to saying that it is obvious.
I am also not sure how verifying the PRA actually even constitutes
an invention much less a patentable one.
But if Microsoft is filing 20,000 patent applications a year I
would imagine that an awful lot of them have to be pretty trivial.
Software patents are an evil aspect of life that has to be dealt
with atleast until it becomes more obvious that they have failed - not
in the theoretical sense of being a bad idea
but in the practical sense of having become totally unworkable.
There are not things I will give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt
on. But my guess is their massive patent portfolio effort is more
deffensive than offensive.
I do beleive they are capable of using IP to try and disadvantage
FOSS. As evil as that sounds it is also legitimate. The purpose of
patents is to prevent the competition from
capitolizing on your invention. To Microsoft FOSS is the
competition. But for the most part Microsoft's IP record has been mostly
defensive and not offensive.
Further, trying to actively use IP to disadvantage FOSS is a
dangerous and counterproductive step. The FOSS community may or may not
have deep pocket litigation
resources depending on the particular issue. But the prior art
research resources available to FOSS are enormous. Someone somewhere at
some time must have atleast discussed
some form of verification of Sender addresses in a public mail list
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