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   RE: [xml-dev] SOAP patented

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> Specific differences: data is described as binary, in 
> multipart mime.  The
> contents are not at all similar to the XML SOAP envelope.  
> Instantiation is
> described as COM (ActiveX) and JScript, with an aside that 
> "those skilled in
> the art" will see what else is obviously covered.  So ... maybe it's a
> patent on SOAP for RPC within .NET, but I doubt even that 
> much.  It doesn't
> look like it would cover most SOAP implementations, because 
> they mostly
> don't use data marshalled as described, or operate as described.

IANAL, but that last few paragraphs state that "this is just one way of 
doing this".  

"As will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art, the present
invention solves problems associated with passing distributed component
software through a firewall. More specifically, the invention provides a way
of allowing richer, interactive Web content to pass through firewalls. This
is accomplished by an application layer protocol that allows remote
Automation objects to be accessed using existing protocols which can pass
through firewalls. 

"While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and
described, it will be appreciated that within the scope of appended claims
various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit of the
invention. "

That's pretty open-ended. The question boils down to whether the idea itself
is patented, or if the patent is on the specific process described.  If
you're facing down an army of attorney's the distinction is moot, anyway. 

> On the other hand, I suppose it could be used as a stick to 
> beat competitors
> with.  Possibly the application went in before "SOAP" became 
> a buzzword? 

I think it describes SOAP the way it was explained to me 2+ years ago.
Since then I've remained blissfully ignorant of all things SOAP. And I mean

> The authors aren't the MS folks who are involved in 
> W3C/XMLP/WS work, so far
> as I know.

Probably went on to form their own company :-)


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