Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Aug 2009 17:55 UTC, submitted by Laurence
Legal In what some will undoubtedly call ironic, Microsoft has been declared guilty of wilfully infringing upon an XML patent held by the Canadian company i4i. The judge has ordered Microsoft to pay a fine of 290 million USD, and has barred Microsoft from selling Word in the United States if the company doesn't comply within 60 days (a detail omitted by many). Microsoft has already announced it will appeal the judge's decision.
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sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

It will be naive, but if what you said is true, then it covers LaTeX as well, which is clearly a prior art.

Edited 2009-08-12 21:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

It will be naive, but if what you said is true, then it covers LaTeX as well, which is clearly a prior art.

The fact of the matter is that i4i has a patent. That matter has already been decided by the experts at the USPTO. The court has decided that the patent applies in this case. The judge cannot go against the official determination of the experts, who have already conducted extensive investigation to exclude the possibility of extant prior art.

Now, the USPTO is one of those government organizations which is entirely self-supporting. Its revenue comes from the fees it charges the applicants. (And every USPTO employee's paycheck comes out of that.) Thus the applicants are their customers and sole source of revenue. So when you ask them to withdraw a patent, you are asking them to anger a customer. And if the customer happens to be a patent troll, you are asking them to anger a *regular* customer.

Yes, it stinks to high heavens. But that is the reality of the situation.

Edited 2009-08-12 22:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

What matter has already been decided by the experts at the USPTO.


The...*experts*?? Thanks for making me start the day with a laugh.

who have already conducted extensive investigation to exclude the possibility of extant prior art.


Heh. A bit of a conflict of interest there though. Asking the experts to investigate if they themselves in fact did things right doesn't sound like a healthy practice.

Yes, it stinks to high heavens. But that is the reality of the situation.


Right, but that doesn't mean we should accept the situation.

Edited 2009-08-13 07:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3