Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Microsoft's revenge

CNET reports that Microsoft is suing an obscure company I have never heard of for stealing Microsoft's patented ideas. The patents in question?

The patents cover a variety of back-end and user interface features, ranging from one covering a "system and method for providing and displaying a Web page having an embedded menu" to another that covers a "method and system for stacking toolbars in a computer display."

These patents are about routine programming, not about novel ideas that deserve over a decade of exclusive use. They shouldn't have even been granted. Yet, not only have the been granted, but similarly groundless patents have been upheld in the past. Who knows? Maybe this case will hold up, too.

I challenge anyone to read up on how patents are supposed to help the public, and then compare that to how they are actually working.

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