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[News] Andy Updegrove the Microsoft Embargo Verdict, Microsoft Harms Biology

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So What About Those XML Patents, Anyway?

,----[ Quote ]
| The other reason I haven't yet written is equally simple: the latest skirmish 
| that i4i won in Texas really doesn't matter very much. 
| Huh?  Then why, you may fairly ask, are we reading so many breathless 
| articles (3,227, by the Google News count as of this moment in time), 
| speculating on the consequences and opportunities that will follow when the 
| sixty days runs out under the Texas judgment, and Office disappears from the 
| shelves of the U.S. retail world?  Isn't Office Suite Life As We Know It 
| about to end?     
| Well, no.  Sorry.  The key of course, is that patents in general, and the i4i 
| patent as well, are all about money.  Whether or not Microsoft's emergency 
| appeal to lift the Judge's order barring it from selling Office with Word as 
| currently configured (i.e., with the specific offending XML capability 
| included upon which the i4i suit focuses) is successful, I'll wager you that 
| no one will have any more trouble buying Office the day after the 60 day 
| pendancy period runs out than they did before.  That's because the key to the 
| solution is also all about money, calculated under three alternate paths.        
| [...]
| 1.  What about the "New Microsoft?"  For some time now, Microsoft has been 
| saying that it has grown up, leaving its Bad Boy adolescent behavior behind.  
| One element of that bad behavior was getting small companies to open their 
| technological kimonos to give Microsoft a peek, in hopes of getting an 
| advantageous business relationship, only to find that Microsoft instead 
| knocked off their technology, including it for free in a Microsoft product, 
| and putting the little companies out of business, or close to it.  That's 
| what i4i says happened here, and the judge agreed.  So much for the New 
| Microsoft.        


Microsoft goes Darwinian with evolutionary tree patent

,----[ Quote ]
| Because such a patent could potentially hobble an entire scientific field, 
| evolutionary biologists will surely be keeping a closer eye on Microsoft's 
| newfound interest in gene-splicing software.  



Court Bans Microsoft From Selling Word

,----[ Quote ]
| In the latest apparent case of the U.S. patent system run amok, Judge Leonard
| Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a
| permanent injunction on Tuesday preventing Microsoft from selling versions of
| Word that handle custom XML in the form of the .DOCX, .DOCM, and .XML file
| formats. Which would mean that Microsoft is now forbidden from selling Word
| 2003 or Word 2007. And since it also forbids Microsoft from testing such
| versions of Word, there would seem to be implications for Office 2010 as
| well.


Softpatent trolls OOXML and Word

,----[ Quote ]
| We may add that while Microsoft always pays lip service to patent reform and
| patent quality, it effectively obstructed even moderate steps of pragmatic
| reform in the field of software patenting with massive lobbying investment
| and an ideological agenda. An ideological motivation you don't find among all
| the other players which have a real business. The massive lobbying also
| applies to colonial attitudes towards patent regimes of third nations in
| which the American company operates, or the European Union, our main area of
| operations as the FFII e.V. Ironically Microsoft itself is a favourite target
| of troll challenges and no one knows how much profits Marshall Phelps
| actually generates by selling their Microsoft FAT patents. In the spectacular
| case of TomTom we were told it was a very small amount. Some American critics
| as Brian Kahin speak of a patent bubble of low value patents but how is it
| going to burst? When you have a licensing business a good patent is one that
| hurts. Maybe the Encyclopedia Brittannica is an example, it failed
| commercially and now became an (unsuccesful) patent enforcement agency
| against actual market players.
| In the recent referral G03/08 about software patentability an European Patent
| Office case named T 424/03 (Microsoft) was center to the debate. Find the
| Amicus letters here. Currently you also have a pending referral on Bilski in
| the US Supreme Court which is more far reaching than software. In the US many
| examination tests were dismantled such as the machine or transformation box
| test which opened the flood gates and unbalanced the system. It was
| reintroduced under the Bilski ruling but appealed at the supreme court. The
| Bilski test does not rule out software or business method patents but
| provides means to reduce the pressure within the examination system in later
| stages.
| First you wreck the law, then the trolls wreck you.
| [...]
| Right now ISO/IEC 29500 ("OOXML") is patent encumbered and cannot be called
| an "open standard" according to conventional definitions and looks unusable
| for the public sector.

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