Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

NY Times Notices Microsoft's Software Patent Extravaganza

from the how-exciting dept

Picking up on the post we had recently about Microsoft patenting how exciting a baseball game is, the NY Times has a nice long article looking at the problems with software patents, and noting that much of Microsoft's success up until now has mostly been because there were no software patents. Microsoft, of course, has a long history of taking the ideas of others and doing a better job bringing them to market. However, now Microsoft is changing course, and actively doing as much as it can to encourage its employees to patent anything and everything -- which leads to such bizarre patents as the one about teaching people how to appreciate music. The article also notes that Thomas Jefferson understood that granting a patent was so powerful that it should only be granted in the rarest of circumstances. Obviously, that intention has been lost to history -- and with it, any hint of the patent system actually "encouraging innovation."

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 31 Jul 2005 @ 11:57pm

    Project Ebola

    If the Chinese Ebola EB-SZ77 outbreak kills millions of people, will Western nations still be fighting over patents to the ebola vaccine? So far, 34 dead....

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

  • identicon
    Dirk Wessels, 1 Aug 2005 @ 9:13am

    Many large companies have started without software

    That is a good point. Microsoft, and many other software companies have started building their software without patents slowing them down.
    Furthermore the patents are not used for development or innovation. Instead they are used to block any development and innovation.
    I have seen nothing really new from microsoft for 20 years. Anything has been taken from existing products. This includes windows (apple/xerox), C-sharp (java), IIS (http/php).
    It's ok to make your own flavor or brand, but the way patents are used is nowhere near innovating.

    Because the usage of computers has become standard on most businesses, patents are now more and more affecting dayly life.
    "You are not allowed to press that button, its usage is patented."
    "You are not allowed to skip this commercial."
    "Your money has been protected with patented DRM"
    "You are not allowed to use this method for replying to a discussion-thread"
    "Your opinion has already been patented."
    "Your body has already been patented." (DNA, etc)

    Can anyone tell me where it stops..

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

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