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   Re: [xml-dev] Another Microsoft XML patent

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* Rick Marshall <rjm@zenucom.com> [2005-06-06 23:19]:
> Alan Gutierrez wrote:
> >* Michael Champion <michaelc.champion@gmail.com> [2005-06-05 23:38]:

> >>On 6/5/05, M. David Peterson <m.david.x2x2x@gmail.com> wrote:

> >>>I doubt any official or non official comment could (or should) be made
> >>>by an MS blue badge 

> >>Even patents that aren't plausible money-makers on the IP licensing
> >>market can be very valuable to companies as *defenses* against
> >>nuisance lawsuits.  Look at IBM's counterclaims against  "The SCO
> >>Group" -- lots of patent infringement claims that IBM could not
> >>plausibly initiate against a competitor, but are fair game to use
> >>against lawsuit scammers.   The best defense in these cases is a good
> >>offense.  "You are suing us for infringing your patent on hashtables,
> >>eh?  Well, you're infringing our patents on half of Computer Science
> >>101 and here's a 1000-page countersuit."  Deep sigh.

> >   The large firms have legal departments that can churn out
> >   patents in volume, lowering the cost of the patent application
> >   process, by virtue of specialization. Good old Taylor.

> >   The patent application process becomes an effective barier to
> >   entry for the small innovators that they tout as the little guy
> >   that the patent office serves to protect.

> a local comment from a long standing technology columnist:
> http://www.smh.com.au/news/Perspectives/Free-trade-the-new-con-trick/2005/06/06/1117910220396.html
> this is a big problem. if australia's largest (and government
> owned) research organisation has trouble protecting itself, then i
> reckon game's up for just about everyone else. it's playground
> fight over the lollies and the bullies are still winning.......

    The U.S. patent system is going to be geared toward protecting
    U.S. interests in international trade. It probably does fit well
    with U.S. interests in the short term, but in the longer term,
    such protectionism is going to reduce our productivity.
    Domestic consumption of software in other nations will skirt
    U.S. patent protection. It will be especially difficult to
    enforce the more frivolous patents abroad, since the more
    frivolous the patent, the less obvious the infringment will be.

    Would the holder of a patent on some arbitrary combination of
    algorithms be able to detect their application in a Tamil
    language word processor? Can anyone in the U.S. inspect the
    business processes of a firm in Cambodia?

    We're going to run into some strange enforcement issues with all
    these frivolous patents, in international markets, who have
    little incentive to see it our way. We may come to regret making
    a mockery of our patent office with all these business process
    and software patents. 

    We'll then have to pick our battles. Are we going to squander
    our influence to inforce a patent age old business process, now
    with XML, or are we going to push to defend big pharma and
    Hollywood?  The latter two industries have a body of law that is
    far more mature. They are two industries that the U.S. will
    dominate for a long time to come. Bang for the buck.

Alan Gutierrez - alan@engrm.com
    - http://engrm.com/blogometer/index.html
    - http://engrm.com/blogometer/rss.2.0.xml


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