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.
Patent grabbing could harm the Internet
The US Patent Office seems to be granting patents for just about
anything these days
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 http://www.pubpat.org 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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