Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Microsoft Wants A Patent For Conjugating Verbs

from the I-Am-You-Are-He-She-It-Is dept

theodp writes "Microsoft's just goofing on us, right? Its latest batch of published patent applications includes one for Conjugating a Verb." Sort of reminds me of the Onion's satirical piece on Microsoft patenting 1s and 0s -- but this one is for real. It's just an application, so it hasn't been granted -- but it says something about how easy it is to get a patent these days that Microsoft and its lawyers would even think this is worth applying for. When so many bogus patents get approved, and the awards for enforcing them are so high, it only encourages more ridiculous patents to be filed -- which probably contributes a lot more to the supposed staffing problem at the patent office than anything else. If the USPTO followed the original purpose of the patent system, to only grant patents in the rarest of circumstances, then the issue of hiring more patent examiners wouldn't even be up for discussion at all.

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  1. identicon
    mark, 31 Aug 2006 @ 4:13pm

    This all is completely in line with Bill Gate's long-standing philosophy of gaining rights to anything software related someone may use in the future, whether he or his company were the originators or not. I think maybe the smart folks who do think up useful software solutions need to be filing patents just to keep such ideas openly available and out of MSFT's stable of co-opted ideas. I can't help but believe if Windows was open sourced from the beginning, it would be largely bug free and more secure. I have a hard time getting my mind around MSFT getting as much as they do for an operating system that has so many software issues it supports a whole other software industry.

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