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[wlug] Patent grabbing could harm the Internet

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David lilypatc@i...
Wed Apr 6 21:44:24 NZST 2005

Just a little article I came across in the Bangkok Post I.T. Database today.

The article can be found at

Wanda Sloan (Sloan Ranger) has also done a review on Netscape 8 in late 
beta stage which has an IE rendering engine for sites that don't render 
properly in the Mozilla engine, which can be found here.

                     David Bowen

Patent grabbing could harm the Internet

The US Patent Office seems to be granting patents for just about 
anything these days

James Hein

It was discovered recently by the Public Patent Foundation (Pubpat) that 
Microsoft had filed a patent application for something very similar to 
IPv6, which is to be the next generation of the Internet Protocol. This 
kind of patent grabbing can only damage the Internet as a whole. Over 
the past few years some companies have been trying to get as many 
patents as they could registered by the US Patent Office, which seems to 
have been going through a period where they granted everything.

They probably won't ever assert the patent, especially since they forgot 
to mention any of the work done by the Internet Engineering Task Force 
(IETF) on the process, but like SCO's efforts it could keep a few 
companies in line who might be worried about Microsoft ever trying to.

Pubpat at is a group that works to protect the 
public from damage caused by poor implementation of the patent system. 
Patent number 6101499, "Method and computer program product for 
automatically generating an Internet Protocol (IP) address," was issued 
to Microsoft in 2000.

By granting these types of patents the Patent Office is essentially 
supporting the monopolistic nature of a company like Microsoft and at 
the same time reducing the chances that the next generation of standards 
will be good ones.

In this case the MS employees listed as the inventors were on the IPv6 
committee of the IETF, the real inventors of the system. Ironically, in 
other recent news Microsoft has demanded reform of the US patent system 
to improve patent quality.

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