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RE: [xml-dev] Cutting special deals for open source developers --noway!

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Soumitra Sengupta [mailto:soumitra@b-bop.com]
> Sent: Friday, October 12, 2001 6:59 PM
> To: Champion, Mike
> Cc: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Cutting special deals for open source 
> developers
> -- noway!
> But I find it fascinating that people think of patents as 
> "stifling innovation" while the original idea was to provide 
> the inventor with some protection by
> allowing them to publicly disclose their art so that 
> innovation can go on. 

Yup, that's the *original* idea ...
> I read somewhere that "creativity is making the obvious 
> visible".  Did not say anything about semi-obvious.  That would probably 
> be the realm of a creative genius :-))

OK, I'll be a little more specific.  One patent I particularly remember was
roughly analogous to the following (but in a very different domain long
before XML was a twinkle in it's daddys' eyes): 'Hmmm, we implemented HTTP,
but we can't patent that ... we implemented an XML schema validator, can't
patent that ... how about an HTTP server that automatically validates XML
posted to it? There's no prior art, so let's hack some code and submit a
patent application on a "method for real-time  generic markup constraint
satisfaction testing in a representational state transfer component" ...
[year or two later] .. Jeee-zus freakin' Christmas, we got away with it!
And now some poor sucker is selling a validating HTTP server that they
independently invented after our patent application was filed, but didn't
have the gall to try to patent ... '  Next, the "creative geniuses" let slip
the lawyers of war and get a tidy revenue stream from their auto-validating
HTTP server patent without having to actually implement anything of saleable

This is NOT what the originators of the patent system had in mind.  And I'm
pretty sure that this basic technique for "information highway robbery" was
used to generate at least half the patents on software and internet business
processes that have been issued to date.

Maybe I'll try to patent a business process for generating semi-obvious
"inventions" to patent :~)