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   RE: [xml-dev] US Patent 6,687,897

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	The first set of claims re: multiple scripts in a single file
would be invalidated by at least ALL-IN-1, the office automation
system that I worked on in the 80's. We held scripts in multiple
languages in the "named data" of our "form" files. The "descriptive
names" for scripts were typically their names on our menus and the
"functional description" would be the "help" texts associated with the
functions. All were held in a single file.
	It is possible that the kids at Microsoft thought they were
doing something new. They weren't. ALL-IN-1 dealt with the problem of
multiple scripting languages back in the 80's since, as one of the
first "integration" products, it needed to be able to control the
operation of a very wide variety of tools, each of which had its own
command and scripting languages. The simple fact that ALL-IN-1 ran on
minicomputers, not PC's, is not relevant. (Note: Many other examples
of prior-art can be found. For instance, TECO or Emacs macro packages
that held scripts that would be run in sub-proceses. Often, these were
implemented in such a way that the scripts' "name" and help text or
"functional descriptions" were bound to the scripts...)
	The claims that depend on XML should be invalidated since they
are simply substitutes of equivelants. Under the "Doctrine of
Equivalents" one can infringe a patent even when the claims are not
literally infringed. Such infringement arises when the differences
between two methods are nominal. However, the doctrine should work in
reverse. Thus, you should not be able to patent a method when prior
art exists which would be held to violate a patent on your method
under the doctrine of equivalents. To hold otherwise allows one to
patent the application of a method which has already entered into the
public domain.
	This patent, like so many others, is junk.

		bob wyman

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Champion [mailto:mc@xegesis.org] 
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2004 6:12 PM
Subject: [xml-dev] US Patent 6,687,897


Details at  

Systems, methods and data structures for encompassing scripts written

in  one or more scripting languages in a single file. The scripts of a

computer system are organized into a single file using Extensible  
Language  Markup (XML). Each script is delimited by a file element and

the script's  instructions are delimited by a code element within each

file element.  Other information, such as a name of the script and a  
functional  description of the script may also be included in the file

using other XML  elements to delimit that information. The language in

which a particular  script is written is also included within the XML

format. When a  particular script is executed, the file is parsed to  
create a list of the  script names or of the functional descriptions
the scripts. One or more  scripts are selected and the code for those

scripts is extracted from the  file and executed by the appropriate  
scripting process. The scripting  process that executes a particular  
script is identified from the scripting  extension attribute that is  
included in the XML format of the file."

At very first glance, it appears to be another case of "wrapping
practice in XML tags makes it patentable".  Of course, there could be

subtleties here that are more innovative than are apparent at first  
glance, but needless to say it's hard to have any faith that the USPTO

would be able to tell the difference.

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