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   Re: [xml-dev] Prior Art For Microsoft's XUL Patent Wanted

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On Wednesday 17 December 2003 01:59 pm, you wrote:
> I was surprised as I looked into inductive interfaces
> to see MS mystified that they had not originated
> the idea given any mil tech writer's experience
> with the LSAR records for repair procedures and
> that background informed MID design.  This stuff
> just isn't rocket science.

... and the MID stuff itself is really a crystallisation of various themes 
running around at the time, from some of the PIGUI work, through to HyTime 
(albeit, one of the most advanced, in a number of directions, to the point 
that it's still fairly advanced). 

Last time I checked (maybe 6 months ago), there were over 300 patents or 
patent applications with the word XML in the title. Think about that.... I 
personally have seen very, very little, that I think is new since 1994 or so, 
so almost every one of those 300 will have significant prior art. Prior art 
alone is *not* sufficient for have a patent deemed invalid though, and that 
is at least part of the problem.

> The EOLAS patent is generating defensive patenting
> elsewhere.

Well, there are a lot of factors here too. One factor is plagiarism.... it has 
become so common for people (both commercial and open-source) to replicate 
any new idea, that people are trying to find ways to protect their 
innovations (and many innovations come from small companies... which are 
least capable of defending themselves). Patents are one of the options people 
have (though not an inexpensive one, so again, individuals and small 
companies suffer).

It's pretty clear the software industry is undergoing a great deal of change 
vis-a-vis IP etc. Whether we all end up as consultants supporting open source 
(be that salaried or independent), or swallowed by the behemoths is an open 


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