As we keep waiting for a Supreme Court ruling in the Bilski case (any day now...), Glyn Moody
points us to the news of a lawsuit that has been filed against 26 different software companies
for violating an incredibly broad patent (5,832,511
) on "Workgroup network manager for controlling the operation of workstations within the computer network" (say that 10 times fast). The list of companies sued is a who's who in software:
Apple, Activision, Adobe, Autodesk, Capcom, Citrix, Corel, Dassault, Delcam, Square Enix, Electronic Arts, Frontrange Solutions, IBM, Intuit, Konami, Digital Entertainment, Maximizer Software, Nuance, Parametric Technology, Sage Software, Sega, Skype, SPSS, Teradata, THQ and Legacy Interactive
I'm sure none of those companies could have possibly come up with a system for controlling the operation of workstations within a computer network without this patent. At some point, isn't the fact that such a vast number of companies appear to have come up with the same basic thing independently a perfect prima facie case of obviousness?