Santa Brings MS Patents for Editing, Compiling Code

from the good-work,-patent-examiners dept

theodp writes "Courtesy of the USPTO, Microsoft found two new patents under the tree this holiday season. The first covers Editing a software program in a common language runtime environment, while the second lays claims to Compiling multiple source language files that share a common library, which must come as a real shocker to members of the DEC OpenVMS Common Language Environment, IBM Language Environment (LE), and IBM Integrated Language Environment (ILE) teams. Gotta teach those patent examiners to use Wikipedia instead of Microsoft Encarta for their prior art searches! "

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  • identicon
    Michael Meiser, 29 Dec 2004 @ 1:31am

    HAHA! Another ridiculous patent suit in the making

    I thought you really might enjoy this one.

    "Trading Technologies, a software vendor for futures and options, Tuesday asked the world's four major futures marts for a slice of their revenues in return for protection from patent lawsuits."

    This sounds like the SCO of the futures industry. Awesome!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jonas Maebe, 30 Dec 2004 @ 4:02am

    Correction

    You have to look at the claims of the patent to find out what it covers. Just looking at the title tells you nothing.

    The first patent seems to cover things like Apple's "Fix and continue" feature (http://developer.apple.com/documentation/DeveloperTools/Conceptual/Xcode QuickTour/qt_fix/chapter_ 5_section_1.html).

    The second one however does seem to cover the combination of the C preprocessor and the C compiler (whereby the preprocessor processes the "meta-information", whose results are then used by the C compiler). I'm not sure though.

    Note that I'm not trying to defend these patents (e.g. like pretty much every other software patent, they claim the problem and not the solution), but these are not patents on the principles of compiling or editing source code.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sean Conner, 30 Dec 2004 @ 1:15pm

    No Subject Given

    The impression I get is that this allows one to compile programs where parts are written in different langauges—such as the user interface written in VB, the heavy numerical processing in Fortran with the networking code in C++ while business logic could be in Cobol or Prolog.

    Prior art to this may be the GNU compiler, which has multiple frontends (that process C, C++, Fortran, etc) that produce an intermediate format (LISPish) that is then fed into a backend for the actual compilation, but the patent itself is rather hard to parse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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