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Re: Fighting Software Patents

----- Original Message ----- 
From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>

> Tim Bray writes:
>  > At 05:34 PM 11/01/01 +0100, Daniel Veillard wrote:
>  > >  I will just note that exhibiting prior art is not sufficient.
>  > >You also need some legal action to take place before getting a
>  > >patent removed, right ? (I would be soooo happy if I was wrong !)
>  > 
>  > If the patent holder chooses to defend it, typical legal costs to 
>  > get one stricken down are about a million dollars. -Tim
> Just so.  If I were doing my own startup, I might need to reserve at
> least USD 1M in cash or credit to fight the inevitable nuisance
> patents from the US, even though I live in a country that has not
> (yet) been bullied into recognizing software patents itself.

What you're saying means that in the current world if at some 
point of time some big company starts fighting other companies 
with the "inventions" like "Amazon's one-click"  or something, 
it causes some trouble. 

Ok, let's assume this is true. Maybe I'm stupid, but 
I hardly understand what is specific in this XPointer-related 

I mean any big company can patent something in *any* 
part of XML and then strart fighting with other companies 
using those 'patents' weapon.

Could please somebody explain to me why this XPointer-related 
stuff is soo important and so special ? 

Take XSLT. For sure there is a lot of things to get patented there. 
Who cares? Nobody cares.

Now take XPointer. Also some things could get patented ( Actually, 
I think there are less patentable things in XPointer, than in XSLT ). 

For some reason XML-dev list cares. 

Why XML-dev list cares about XPointer, but XML-dev list does 
not care about XSLT ( Or XPath or whatever ) ?

> I put a lot of the blame on venture capital firms -- they have
> intellectual property as an automatic checklist item, so people have
> to do bogus software patents just to get funding.  I very much doubt
> that the VCs will look at their current crop of dot.complete-disasters
> and reflect on how little the software patents helped them (I don't
> think that learning from your mistakes appears on their checklists).

How is this related to XPointer ? By the way - I don't see any 
dot.complete-disasters for VCs, so I don't understand how VCs 
should learn from their 'mistakes', because I don't think VCs are 

VCs make money - that's it. Those who've lost their money - they 
should be called  'mistaken', I think. 

I mean those, who were thinking that this stock game is about 
small people making millions in one year. Those who are 
brainwashed  - those are usually mistaken.

With this 'Sun and Xpointer',  I feel the strong odor of brainwashing, 
when Sun gets some blaming  for,  I think,  nothing. 

Actually, I like blaming Sun ;-) I can blame Sun for some other 
things.  ;-)

Unfortunately, ;-)  I don't understand how can I blame Sun for 
patenting something 'somehow related to XML'.  

Could somebody please explain, what is so special with 
"Sun and XPointer"  ? It is the first patent that could be applied 
to some XML application? It is not the first one, for sure. 
And it is not the most important one. For sure. 

Wait when somebody will patent resolving the Namespace URI 
into URL - *that* patent will become *much* more important. 

"Amazon one-click patents" are really cool.