“Microsoft is in the process of applying for a wide-ranging patent that covers a variety of functions related to its .Net initiative. If approved as is, the patent would cover APIs that allow actions related to accessing the network, handling XML, and managing data from multiple sources. APIs are the hooks in software that allow applications to work with another system.” Read the article at news.com.
.Net Patent Could Stifle Standards Effort
Submitted by Michael Slater 2003-02-11 .NET 50 Comments
No surprise here…
I have seen Microsoft do it time and again.
What they do is license or include technology from third parties just long enough to reverse engineer for compatiblity (legal actually) and then they replace it and add a few features and then force it on consumers.
The lesson?? Don’t let Microsoft license anything from you! Duh.
–The loon (yellowTAB (Zeta))
Unfortunately, this is exactly what I predicted at the beginning of the Mono project. :^( I suspect the only reason they waited so long was to allow good open-source developers waste a great deal of time before cutting them off at the knees. Unfortunately, I also predicted this tactic.
On another note, the software patent system needs to be overhauled in a major way. These crazy patents (and I don’t just mean MS) do nothing to promote innovation; they only stifle it. This is insane!
The lesson?? Don’t let Microsoft license anything from you! Duh.
So who did Microsoft license .NET from? I was under the impression that .NET was theirs in the first place, in which I say they can and should do whatever the hell they want with it.
“Patents have become an increasingly common way for software makers to exert control over their intellectual property. One of the concerns about the proliferation of technology patents is the impact it could have on standards development. Some developers fear the trend will let a few patent holders dictate the direction of standards.”
I actually should point out another reason companies have patents. Self-defense. Seeing some of the stupidity out there as far as patents that should have never been granted, and the way companies are using (BT) them as a form of extortion. This should be no surprise.
Microsoft has to get these patents. It’s just business common sense. Because if they don’t, someone else will. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It doesn’t mean they’ll “cut open-source developers off at the knees.” Then again, they might.
My point is: Wait and see.
I would like to know.
how the heck can software fall under both Patent law and COpyright law..it is one or the other.
. . . and this patents include transmiting bits over copper cables.
Nobody expected this, from Microsoft? Do ya’ll *remember* the 1990’s? Any clue how MS got into power? BTW, coming up with a language then patent encumbering the API is immoral. You don’t see the C++ working group filing patents on the C++ Standard Library, do you? Phuqker says “wait and see.” I add to that: “don’t start any .NET projects in the meantime!”
Mutualy Assured Destruction. aka MAD
Let’s all arm ourselves to the eye teeth with patents.
If anyone sues us , we’ll sue them back.
Stop the MADness.
Previously, Microsoft failed to patent the WIN32 API which allows others such as the WINE project to create replacement libraries that allow WIN32 apps to run without MS Windows. Furthermore, ECMA made an API standard out of WIN32 which annoyed MS.
Looking at this current patent, you should note the following:
MS is unable to patent specific software client, communication protocol, or server inventions. So imagine we have drawn boxes representing client machines, servers, and then drawn lines between them representing communications protocols.
The client technologies, like XML, runtime libraries, components, data-types, and even the interface technologies that allow different languages to be used together can’t be patented by MS. Prior art includes open HTML/XML, other computing languages, CORBA, and the SOM patent owned by IBM.
For communication protocols they use SOAP/XML (typically used over HTTP) as an example. Both are open standards which seem to be patent free.
Likewise, a server that receives requests and returns results to clients is fairly basic and does not give rise to a new invention.
What this patent seems to say, is that .NET has organized these components. In a particular way – the picture of boxes with lines between them. They say, we can replace the lines with different types of lines, the client boxes with different types of client, and the server boxes with different types of servers, but the arrangement is essentially the same, and this is their INVENTION.
To glue this together in a way that frustrates attempts copy the .NET archicture they introduce a hierarchy of namespaces in the API. That is, the arrangement of functions and objects within libraries.
For instance, the Web applications namespace 200 is identified by the root name “System.Web”. Within the “Sytem.Web” namespace is another namespace for Web services, identified as “System.Web.Services”, which further identifies another namespace for a description known as “System.Web.Services.Description”.
It would be difficult to keep compatible with .NET without copying this specific namespace arrangement. This is like patenting the Linux directory hierarchy (/usr, /usr/bin, /usr/local, /usr/lib) to prevent people creating a seperate Linux compatible system.
I have had many mind-numbingly dull discussions with several pro-MS folks on this board regarding this in the past. To them I say, I told you so.
.NET has one purpose… it provides p-code which can be natively compiled to the ISA of platforms Microsoft is looking at making Windows builds for, namely x86-64 and IA64. And of course there’s .NET compact for embedded devices (running Windows CE)
What could the Mono project hope to achieve without implementing Windows forms? They certainly haven’t gotten very far:
Microsoft realized they were currently bound to IA32 by their application base. A move to x86-64 or IA64 would be painful for developers, who would have to release two (or three) separate versions of applications if they wanted to take advantage of x86-64 or IA64 features, as they would still need to maintain a version for the IA32 crowd.
I see .NET as beneficial to the Windows developer community, and not much else. Microsoft patenting the APIs doesn’t really change much as Mono and dotGNU weren’t really bound to go anywhere useful regardless.
Actually no. If anyone tries to claim a patent on something .NET made before, Microsoft can file a objection and even stop that patent from being released on the case of prior art.
Now, I don’t really see this as a problem. The most they can do without actually harming .NET is to seek a non-discrimatory royalty. You see Linux is commanding a higher and higher amount of server market share, and that leaves a large market out of Microsoft’s hands if they enforce these patents to block the development of Mono.
Meanwhile parts under the EMCA (C#) cannot go under discrimitory practices (read EMCA’s by-laws if you please on patents) because Microsoft in the first place donate/submitted its interlectual property to the EMCA. Of course, the EMCA only holds part of .NET.
Um, that’s what the naysayers have been saying all along. That .NET is just another proprietory way to program Windows and that the ECMA standardization was just show. You say about their prediction “who cares” yet you just reiterate their comments.
Yes, but we have GTK#. Mono on linux have similar advantage then .NET on windows. Linux run on many different architecture and you can produce only one binary code to all platforms.
Rayiner: go read EMCA’s by laws. Microsoft have already submitted its interlectual property to EMCA, concerning parts under the EMCA standard, so in other words, if you just implement that, there is practically nothing for fear. Meanwhile developers to opt for .NET that think it would be WORA is plain naive. Microsoft have spoken out against WORA many times saying it is impractically for technical reasons (this also counts on the server). What I’m excited about is that it would be easier for someone to port a .NET app from Windows to Mono than without Mono.
Read it here: http://www.ecma.ch/memento/ecmabylaws.HTM
All documents when approved shall be made available to all interested parties without restriction. ”
And in the Code of Conduct in Patent Matters: http://www.ecma.ch/memento/codeofconduct.HTM
In case the proposed Standard is covered by issued patents of ECMA members only: Members of the General Assembly are asked to state the Company licensing policy with respect to these patents.
Each member of the TCs and/or of the General Assembly of ECMA will determine whether any proposed standard may be covered by any patent for which his company has a pending application; if such a patent application exists, his continued participation to the relevant committee will imply that such a patent, when obtained later, will be made available from his company for licensing on a reasonable, non-discriminatory basis.
Each member of the TCs and/or of the General Assembly of ECMA will determine whether any proposed standard may be covered by any patent for which his company has a pending application; if such a patent application exists, the favourable vote of the Company to the General Assembly will imply that such a patent, when obtained later, will be made available from his company for licensing on a reasonable, non-discriminatory basis.
So, no worries that Microsoft would use patents to stiffle the EMCA standard. Remember, 40% of its standards are adopted as international standards, which is remarkable. EMCA wouldn’t be so stupid to allow Microsoft to push it around.
Your post, rajan, actually supports the conspiracists. Yes, the submittals (C#, the CLI) cannot be patented without non-discriminatory and reasonable terms. But that’s not what MS is patenting. They are patenting using those standards to build a very generalized and vague system that uses .Net and/or .Net-like components to interact with web services and –what I think will prove the key phrase– distributed systems.
I’m not quite sure what they think they can chisel out for themselves, but I can easily see how this could be a powerful patent and would basically cover all development that .Net was intended for, without violating the ECMA bylaws.
Once MS gets it’s patent and is done suing the pants off the MONO team, just maybe they will finally get the message. When working with Satan never turn your back !
Ok. Here is what they will do in next 5 years:
They will extend C# and will not commit the changes to the Ecma. So that, Linux C# code will work on Windows, but new version C# code will not work on Linux. : ))
Miguel de Icaza, you could be more helpful to open source or Linux if you had developed an platform game called Mono in which a monkey jumps around collecting banknots. If you want, you could even add a level passing in Java island in which Scott McNealy could star as an end of level monster or something.
>>Any clue how MS got into power? BTW, coming up with a language then patent encumbering the API is immoral. You don’t see the C++ working group filing patents on the C++ Standard Library, do you? <<
How is this immoral, they made it they can do what they want with it, no one is forcing you to use it. This is normal business practice, you try to make sure what you create stays with you. For C++ is there is a group running the show (I don’t know much about this, but I would assume it’s some form of joint board) well yes they don’t do such things. But thats why its an open standard language. The whole point is it doesn’t belong to anyone.
I don’t expect MS to get these patents approved. Maybe some things will but not much. I agree that people should have something to let them keap some control over what they make. But for this your making something you want people to use to make stuff with, it’s not a end user product. Software needs something to protect it on some levels, but patents arn’t it. Patents are for real phyiscial things they exsist. They do not take well to software. Just the time frames for it doesn’t work. A 20 year patent on some devise works since it may be used for 50 years. Most software technolgy doesn’t last more than a few years before becomeing obscure. Maybe a special patent for software, like 18 months or something would work. Also with software unlike machines there becomes very few non-roundable and intentionaly complicated ways to do things. There is only so many logical ways to write “hello world” . Most of the apps made arn’t revolutionary, there doing things in just plain logical ways. To give a patent on that is silly.
Far as mono, I don’t think this will effect it to much even if the patents go through. They may have to change things but it’s not for loss. In the end they may not have a .net compatiable tool, but they will have a great cross platform tool. Even if they have to use some other api and such. This won’t kill it. Migual (I think i killed his name) is a very smart guy, he’ll keap on trucking, in some direction.
A standardised language is not the same as a standardised platform. Which was my whole problem with Mono.
.NET will keep the same stranglehold on app development that VB/VC++ did, although additionally it will survive a transisiton to the next generation of processors without a recompile.
Maybe I am being kneejerk. If I worked for MS, I would be hand-clasping in glee 🙂
I attended a speech of Richard Stallman on ‘The Dangers of Software Patents’ just yesterday night (Ghent, Belgium).
He of course mentioned this. I can’t replay all his argumentation, and whilst I’m not an unconditionable fan of RMS, I have to say he certainly makes a point. I can only urge people who react here on this OSNews thread, to check out the Free Software Foundation website to read about the issues of software patents.
The problem in a nutshell, is that software patents are written in lawyer’s languague and hence can be interpreted in a lot of ways, which makes the patent system more of a lottery than a way to protect some intellectual property.
RMS gave the example of a lawyer who told his client he could sue somebody who ‘infringed’ his patent, whilst this client did’nt even see what that other person did that was similar….
Luckily (for me) this is a problem in the U.S.A. Those patents doesn’t have any value in my country or Europe. For the moment… this is an issue in the European Commission.
—.dsl.pltn13.pacbell.net: but I can easily see how this could be a powerful patent and would basically cover all development that .Net was intended for, without violating the ECMA bylaws.
From what I read in the CNET article, you can still use C# and CLI without using Microsoft’s patent. Mono can may as well create something different and incompatible if they liked. But I doubt your consipiracy theories.
Linux is fast gaining a lot of server market share, especially for web servers. Now, if Microsoft keeps its web services to itself, it would be alienating a potentially big market, giving it all to Sun’s ONE to grab. Nobody is going to change server platform just because one of the solutions only runs on Windows. Well, almost everyone.
CroanoN: They will extend C# and will not commit the changes to the Ecma. So that, Linux C# code will work on Windows, but new version C# code will not work on Linux. : ))
Not really. If, and that’s a big if, Microsoft stops working on ECMA’s C# and develop its own, I wouldn’t be too afraid if I was Mono. Why? By time Microsoft reaches a stage where they can do that without it turning around and kicking them back in the butt, Linux market share may be over 10% (my estimate).
Which means people would still use standard C#. And even if they don’t, porting Windows’ C# apps to Mono’s C# would be far easier than if there was no C# in the first place.
CroanoN: If you want, you could even add a level passing in Java island in which Scott McNealy could star as an end of level monster or something.
Considering one of his company, Ximian, biggest cash cow comes from Sun themselve, I doubt Ximian thinks McNealy as a monster. They just saw a opportunity in .NET to bring more apps to Linux with or without WORA.
Brad: [i]Software needs something to protect it on some levels, but patents arn’t it.[i]
Well, you guessed it, I disagree. Yes, I think the patent office in the USA is bad in software patents, but in so many areas, patents are actually good. It is just misused so much people think that it is completely bad. What is needed is a revamp of the patent office, not only for software, but other industries.
But without a patent office, a lot of things in the software industry would change. yes, in so many ways software patents are misused to curtail innovation, but if revoked, the lack of such patents would actually harm innovation. Take Adobe Photoshop for example, they spent millions on it, and have its own portfolio of patents. It would be unfair for Photoshop if some open source developers, namely from GIMP, comes around and clones everything they do and give it for free. Or if their competitors comes around and offer a product with THEIR innovation.
However, I agree that software patents as it is today is bad. Software patents shouldn’t be similar as with other industries. The chief problem with it is pretty much what Serge van Ginderachter posted: patents are in lawyer’s talk, not geek talk.
Question 122: Could patents be used to completely disable Mono (either submarine patents filed now, or changes made by Microsoft specifically to create patent problems)?
No. First, its basic functional capabilities have pre-existed too long to be held up by patents. The basic components of Mono are technologically equivalent to Sun’s Java technology, which has been around for years.
Mono will also implement multi-language and multi-architecture support, but there are previous technologies such as UCSD p-code and ANDF that also support multiple languages using a common intermediate language. The libraries are similar to other language’s libraries, so again, they’re too similar to be patentable in large measure.
However, if Microsoft does patent some technology, then our plan is to either (1) work around it, (2) chop out patented pieces, (3) find prior art that would render the patent useless. Not providing a patented capability would weaken the interoperability, but it would still provide the free software / open source software community with good development tools, which is the primary reason for developing Mono.
See what I mean? Mono can work around it. Even though it would be tougher, they can survive. Unless suddenly Microsoft announce that in C# there is a patent and the RAND royalty is $1 million per installation, I don’t think they are doomed.
No, they are not doomed, but .NET will never have WORA. Since, they may not workaround it without breaking the interoperability with Windows equivalent on the patented parts. : )))) This means, Mono will never be .NET implementation. It will be .NET-like implementation.
Miguel de Icaza had been warned many times. But, greed Rajan, as you probably know very well, is one of the 7 sins. : ))))
So much for all the poor buggers thinking .Net would EVER be a platform independant standard. Sorry folks, you’ve been had time and time again by M$, isn’t it about time you learn something?
If everything will be the same with the rest of programs
This would stop the GPL or GNU projects at all. Only countries
in Europe, Asia … are “safe”. We Europeans don’t like the Evilempire.
Every big company does the same thing. It is better for MS to patent it, rather than a guy who wants to become quickly rich. Small companies are trying to patent these sort of ideas so that they can later on earn money. So MS or any other company has no chance but to patent as much ideas as possible. Actually this is good for us as consumers, otherwise we will have to pay ridiculous patent fees to small companies. Don’t care about those stupid jerks who claim that MS will use this against. Recently AOL got patents for IM, but nobody here cares about it. As long as AOL doesn’t try to enforce it, I am ok with it. The fundemental problem here is the software patents. There shouldn’t be such patents at the first place.
I think the patent system is completely broken, however, even though a patent is completely ludicrous, you still have to go to court, pay the lawyers to defend against them.
First, all these arguments that the patent isn’t go to hold up in court is really a moot point. Someone still needs to pay the bills to prove that.
Second, what exactly is MSFT patenting? Well if you looked at the patent, its the .NET API that’s being patented. There are always ways to go around patents, and this usually means do things slightly different. However, what does it mean to do things slightly different from the .NET API? Well that means not being compatible with the .NET api.
Third, what about ECMA standardization? Well, that’s not covered by the patent, ECMA is about C# and CLI not the .NET API.
In short its okay for mono to reproduce C# and CLI, however to reproduce the .NET API, well they’ll have to see Microsoft in court.
Didn’t Sun patent Java and the APIs of it? If they did, why isn’t MS allowed to do so?
First of all, Sun likes open source. They are supporting many open source projects such as OpenOffice.org, NetBeans.org, Jxta, etc. (http://www.sunsource.com) For instance, with the push of Apache Group, Sun created JCP (Java Community Process) version 2.5 at the end of last year and opened the doors of many opportunities to open source communities.
On the other hand MS hates open source. It sees it as a communistic efford, like a virus, number one enemy. It tries to kill it in every oportunity. In the past, they did everything they can to break the compatibility with Linux, as Samba and Kerberos teams would tell. Open source community learned very well that it can never trust MS. (Except for Miguel I guess. : ) Poor guy.)
For instance, please read the following. I cut it from the NZheretic(23872)’s comment in slashdot, here:
Here is an excerpt:
Microsoft’s CEOs have made it “patently” clear [ http://swpat.ffii.org/players/microsoft/index.en.html ] that they intend to restrict competing .Net implementations by cultivating Microsoft’s patents, such as United States Patent Application #20020059425 “Distributed computing services platform” [ http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&…‘20020059425’.PGNR.&OS=DN/20020059425&RS=DN/20020059425 ] which covers the design and inter-operation of .NET based implementations.
Although there is prior art examples of individual technologies such as the JVM etc, Microsoft patents such as the one mentioned, define and claim the interoperation of the components, in such a way that any re-implementations will be sure to be covered by the patents. This remains true even for the Microsoft specs submited to standard
In comparison, Sun has granted the Apache and all open source developers FULL access to the specs, test kits and granted the full rights to develop competing products under the JSPA [ http://jakarta.apache.org/site/jspa-agreement.html ] . Sun has also fully pened up the Java development standards process under the new Java Community Process (JCP) [http://www.jcp.org ]. Even to the point of granting full open source re-implentations of J2EE such as JBoss [ http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/53/28472.html ] …
JBoss received the green light after Sun told that it would allow all of the APIs contained in J2EE 1.4 to be open sourced. Fleury had expressed concern that certain critical APIs, including Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) 2.1, would be not be made available to open source organizations.However, Java Community Process director Onno Kluyt said: “Sun’s plan with 1.4 is that although it started before JCP 2.5, by the time it ships it will allow the creation of independent implementations. I don’t think the APIs are that interesting, because the license that sits on top of J2EE will allow that [independent implementations]”.
There those that claim that .NET is open to re-implementation, but until Microsoft make a simliar public legal declaration to Sun’s JSPA, any .NET reimplementation represents a pending legal mindfield.
Note that the term are “reasonable and non-discriminatory” RAND, not free.
“Reasonable” is in the eye of the beholder, beside any fee would kill free software implementation: who would pay Microsoft to develop software as a hobby?
RAND is incompatible with Free software..
I think (in my humble opinion) i know why Microsoft hates open source community. Microsoft knows, that the battle with open source is hard to win. Open source programs and systems will take huge amount of stock. Why, please remember when IBM at the begin of pc era opened the “source” of pc, Apple stayed closed. And look now, where is pc and where is mac.
I guess you didn’t read the JSDK agreement. It states that all public Java API’s are public domain. In short, you can’t have a copyright or a patent on a public API. This clause has been with Java since the very beginning.
Contrast with .NET where API’s are patented by microsoft.
Do we care?
I certainly don’t, as I do NOT use it.
What is soooo compelling about .NET that it forces you to use it?
What is so difficult on other platforms that .NET makes it easier to program in?
Is Microsoft twisting anyone’s arm by patenting their process? I don’t think so, nor do I think they will, since there are so many open source projects and other programming methods availble.
The moment that Microsoft limits the programming choices on their userbase, is the moment that they lose millions of desktop users. This patent news is actually fantastic news for everyone urging choice in the OS enviornment.
Go ahead Microsoft.. Continue blindly slogging forward in your mental mindscape, unaware of the packs of animals nipping at your feet. Eventually you will fall victim to your own undoing.
I welcome that day.
This patent news is trivial. It’s not even worth talking about anymore. Honestly.
As for MONO. They are a lunatic fringe eager to replicate a technological and ethical mandate that is retired. Retired, and retarded in it’s ability to offer choice to the end user. They want to replicate this? Insane I say.
Have a nice day. This news has made my day brighter, indeed.
Avid BeOS User.
PanIP holds two patents on technologies and processes that appear to cover any business conducting online commerce. If a customer inputs information on a company’s Web site and the site also processes financial information, the company may be infringing on the patents.
PanIP has sued 51 companies, all relatively small businesses located outside of California, and is seeking $5,000 for a license to use what it claims is its patented technology. Some cases have been settled, but at least 16 companies have banded together to fight PanIP in court.”
Yeah, I couldn’t belive when I read this the first time either.
I know it’s a bit OT, but I wanted to point out how messed up the US patent system is today for those not familiar with it. Gee, I wish I was back in sunny Spain……
” I know it’s a bit OT, but I wanted to point out how messed up the US patent system is today for those not familiar with it. Gee, I wish I was back in sunny Spain……”
Well BT (British Telecom) isn’t a US company. Didn’t stop them from abusing the patent system. So part of the problem is the companies and their greed, and the patents system is their tool of choice.
There’s more to it than open,close. Think also non-exclusiveness.
Actually, maybe it would be better if the worse did come, and americans were paying absurd fees. Why? Simple, with pain comes recognition, and change. Right now some of this “stupidity” is hidden. The link between cause and effect not a straight one. People would ask “Why is all this (goods and services) so high? And one could clearly point out “The patents system is broken, and allows crimminals to rape the american consumer”.
Sounds like a good time to boost up the use of Java, and maybe turn towards Sun, IBM and other JVM makers and ask them to add the missing features to the languages, such as operator overloading and maybe the ability to use C and other languages to create java bytecode.
I’ve been told times and again that Sun doesn’t care about other languages, but I believe that it would greatly help its adoption.
Efforts should also be made to integrate the JVM with the kernel itself, so that you can run multiple applications using a single JVM rather than starting yet another JVM for each application you start. This was actually the topic of a conference I gave in Mexico last week, people seemed to like the idea and everybody wondered why companies haven’t attempted this (publicly announced) before.
If the namespace is patented (and it will), there isn’t much Mono or DotGNU can do to keep up with MS, unless they speed things up and say that they _already_ have a similar namespace and block the patent process. EFF support anyone?
“Efforts should also be made to integrate the JVM with the kernel itself, so that you can run multiple applications using a single JVM rather than starting yet another JVM for each application you start. This was actually the topic of a conference I gave in Mexico last week, people seemed to like the idea and everybody wondered why companies haven’t attempted this (publicly announced) before.”
It is called “resource sharing JVM”. Its coming with Java 1.5 Tiger release.
“From what I read in the CNET article, you can still use C# and CLI without using Microsoft’s patent. Mono can may as well create something different and incompatible if they liked.”
So? I can see almost any web service being built with C# and the CLI falling under this patent. If not, at least I can see why someone would fear whether or not MS could successfully interpret it in court to do so. How many people can afford that risk?
And secondly, I can see how you could build web services without C# and the CLI and still be exposed to patent infringement according to these broad claims.
This, this is hilarious: “Mono can may as well create something different and incompatible if they liked.” No Crap! What’s your point? That people can create incompatible but similar platforms to .Net? No sh!t, it was done before .Net existed. The interesting, important, useful thing is whether or not .Net can be made compatible with other platforms, isn’t it? And now there is also a question of whether or not you can create web services at all because of this patent claim.
No matter what, this is a major disincentive to not use .Net–whether MS wins and aggressively enforces it or not… Why the hell should anyone use it? Upholding the C# language and parts of the CLI as a standard, but then patenting virtually any use of it, does in fact impair the ability to use it with any confidence, and anyone who has attempted to do so should consider suspending progress and reevaluate the risks they face.
It is astonishing legal chutzpah. The patent application basically is a dump of their documentation.
By definition every implementation of would require a license.
It is unbelievable that such a thing is even patnetable. I hope it is rejected but the USPTO never fails to disappoint in applying logic to the common good as opposed to kissing the ass of big corporations who pay its fees.
Microsoft has no legal need for a “defensive” patent. Nobody else made a .NET API before, and Microsoft could have precluded any other patents by full disclosure.
Unfortunately the URL was cutoff.
Search for patent application
at the http://www.uspto.gov
The reason this action about MS is immoral is not that MS patented something it invented. The reason is that they implied that .NET was going to be an open-ish platform by submitting C# to ECMA as an official standard. Sun has never pretended that Java is anything other than a proprietory platform and language. Further, this situation is dangerous because it’s Microsoft. As much as many of you would like to believe otherwise, what goes around comes around. Microsoft has dealt unfairly with competitors in the past, while Sun has largely played by the rules of the game. There are numerous (some open source) implementations of Java around, and Sun has never taken any patent action against them. People trust Sun not to do so because they have engendered a measure of goodwill in the community. Microsoft has endendered no such goodwill, and that’s why people are skeptical of their every move. Look at it this way: do you really trust an ex-con with a gun? Especially one that has never been punished, and has never repaid his debt to society?
Sun has never pretended that Java is anything other than a proprietory platform and language.
Funny. Because from JCP (http://www.jcp.org), it reads “Its an open organization of international Java developers and licensees”. And the fact numerous times it calls Java a “standard”, especially in print advertisements.
while Sun has largely played by the rules of the game.
And I believe, the rules are loopsided against Microsoft and monopolies in general, thanks to antitrust laws. Microsoft was being a smart businessman, while Sun in so many areas aren’t a good one. For example, their professional courtesy is so terrible it would make Lindows.com look like an angel. One of the things that si important for your image is that how you speak of your competitors influence heavily on your image.
And then what about their direction? x86 Solaris or no x86 Solaris? How many times have they changed their decission? Or StarOffice? Sun themselves don’t know who are their chief most stiffest competitor is IBM and HP, not Microsoft.
The rules of the game should be “the strongest wins” not “as soon as they get too strong, we would set boundaries”.
So? I can see almost any web service being built with C# and the CLI falling under this patent.
You idiot, it was exactly my point. Microsoft can’t misuse their patent because anyone can easily move to Sun ONE if they liked. What Microsoft *can* stop is competiting products copying the same idea. You see in this area, Microsoft is far from being a monopoly.
And secondly, I can see how you could build web services without C# and the CLI and still be exposed to patent infringement according to these broad claims.
In that case, competitors, especially Sun and IBM can logde objections to the patents and can provide prior art.
That people can create incompatible but similar platforms to .Net? No sh!t, it was done before .Net existed.
Your idiocity astounds me. While C# is very similar to Java, it has nothing to do with my argument. Just say I make a piece of software. I wrote it in C++. Later down in the road, I decide to use .NET and add in components written in a different language. Later on my customers say they want a Linux version. WHat do I do?
Get some developers, port it to Mono. It would cost way way way less than it would without Mono. All I need to do is adapt to Mono, because it is very similar to .NET. For example, if I’m using winforms, I just change it for GTK+. If I’m using .NET web services, I just switch it to, for example, IBM’s web services.
Yes, there won’t be WORA between the two, but the porting process would be so much faster I would save money. And that’s my point.
Meanwhile I’m not apologizing for Microsoft in this case. All they are doing is taking advantage of a loophole. I think Microsoft shouldn’t and fill for this patent and many others, but the fact is that problem lies with the patent office and NOT Microsoft.