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It is definitely time to overhaul the patent systems
worldwide. The Europeans aren't above this either.
The IBM patent may be a mortal wound to ebXML but
I wouldn't be too sure yet. It may also be the
straw that gets the attention of Congress. That
is the kind of attention that has a way of chilling
everybody's party. On one hand, we have the massive
theft of intellectual property (the entertainment
cases) and on the other hand, very large well funded
companies pursuing a very profitable patent agenda
that can effectively freeze use of the media, although
it will force innovation. This is beginning to look
like an election issue.
If the software titans continue to use these tactics,
the business industry will ignore their technologies.
That will have an unpleasant effect on the web and
XML. Business will not accept tollbooths on business
transactions. It is possible to use the Internet and
ignore the web. That's a good thing. When one part
of an ecosystem becomes unviable, another usually
gains in members.
Conserve options. This is when you need them.
From: Michael Kay [mailto:email@example.com]
> Slightly off topic, but a sad example of how far our patent
> system has fallen:
Sad indeed. And serious... I've already heard mutterings that if the US
patent office continues much longer down its current path, it can't be long
before Europe will stop recognizing US patents, which would have some rather
interesting (and not necessarily pleasant) consequences.