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

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Oh yes, I'll be the first to admit that MID 
wasn't novel.  I had Hytime running out my 
ears at that point, had worked on other hypertext 
systems (IADS, IDE/AS, the GE ETMs for CASS) 
and did my homework researching AI systems, 
NLDS and chaos theories, linguistics, and 
so on.  I didn't know about PIGUI.

The first MID came down to the definition of a 
view package, familiarity with midi sequencers, 
and opening up the Win 3.1 resource file (that 
was what MS should have patented but I'm sure 
it seemed silly at the time).  So when I sat 
down with Neill Kipp to explain what I had 
in mind for MID I, his response was, "Oh, 
you mean these ARE the objects?!? That 
should work."  

In other words, MID was a bit of synthesis, 
not innovation.  No d'oh.  But because we 
implemented it, published it and that stuff has 
been out there for a decade now, it is part 
of the prior art documentation that secures 
the future.  That alone made it worthwhile, IMO. 

The hard sell was the MID committee themselves 
who were committed to a much grander concept, 
but I had a customer with a deadline and Charles 
had tutored me on getting it done.  ISMID 
reflects more of the advanced bits from Hytime. 
ISO ISMID is Dave Cooper's work because I 
changed jobs at that point.  Not oddly, when 
MID was being discussed on comp-text-sgml at 
the time, the W3C guys, the new SGML to HTML 
converts and others were blasting holes 
in it.  What goes around comes around.  Keep 
it in mind when people come to this list with 
ideas that may conflict with current agendas. 
Document it.  Document it.  Document it.

Prior art is part of due diligence. It 
seems people are skipping that part of the 
patenting process these days.  There is a gold 
rush on and claim jumping seems to be in heavy 
revival, but now as in the WWWest and the Klondike, 
he with the gold rules.   That I suspect is why 
the W3C is finally facing up to the facts and 
amassing legal defense funds.  'bout time too.

Yeah, the plagiarism is massive.  Blog keiretsu, 
accepting behaviors from Google that would get 
Gates put in jail, open source claiming special status 
while IBM and others make billions off it, all of the 
Spy Vs Spy games, are 'life among the mammals' 
behaviors.  I don't despair.  We've been doing 
this stuff for at least 10k years.

"CROG!  You copied my buffalo!" reverberates from 
the cave to the cubicle.   ;-)


From: Gavin Thomas Nicol [mailto:gtn@rbii.com]

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 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
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
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
(be that salaried or independent), or swallowed by the behemoths is an open 


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