It seems the stories about bad software patents are accelerating. While this one isn't about a new patent, it does show the impact of one such patent. Apparently, anti-virus firm Trend Micro has a patent on the idea of server based anti-virus protection. Why is this patentable? There's nothing particular special about blocking viruses from the server side -- and, not surprisingly, other companies came up with similar solutions. However, the courts have now banned one such company, Fortinet, from offering providing new customers with updates to their anti-virus offering. Combine this with another patent on automated anti-virus downloads to client-side applications and it's amazing that we can do any kind of anti-virus activity at all without having to pay out large sums to patent holders.
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