Help Function Patent In Japan Means All Copies Of Word Processor Get Destroyed

from the um... dept

The latest in a long, long line of absolutely wacky intellectual property rulings comes from Japan. Slashdot is pointing out that a Tokyo court has ruled that a popular word processing program infringes on a patent held by electronics giant Matsushita. The specific patent has to do with how the "help function" is displayed within the program -- which seems strange enough, especially considering that the company has had their product on the market since 1987, and the patent only was granted in 1998. Still, it gets stranger. Not only did they lose the case, but the court is ruling that the company, Justsystem, must destroy all existing copies of the program. Yes. Because the help function of a word process and graphics program violates a patent, the entire program must be destroyed. Yeah, that certainly seems like a way to encourage innovation.

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 7 Feb 2005 @ 5:50am

    The Antiwork Ethic

    The court has not asked Ichitaro to pay damages, so people in Japan are in fact confident that Ichitaro will win the appeal.

    Japanese tax law has more generous child tax credits -- there are no age limits on "dependents", and any government money they receive, such as through fellowships, are not counted as "income". Thus, there are families whose adult children do not work because the family's overall income is higher that way.

    I work and have a fellowship at a US university, but under Japanese law, I "have no income", so my family gets huge tax savings, like $10,000.

    Here's a tribute to the hard-working students of East Asia.

    http://img220.exs.cx/img220/134/3801fp.jpg

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

  • identicon
    Raging Serf, 7 Feb 2005 @ 8:17am

    Rupert Holmes anyone..

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


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