Re: Another Microsoft XML patent
On 6/7/05, Alan Gutierrez <alan-xml-dev@e...> wrote: > I feel, as an individual, that I'm being lumped together with > Kim Jong-il, simply because I'm not a major power. Do you have a patent on an obvious idea that is widely implemented by profitable vendors, and are planning to sue MS, Oracle, IBM, etc. for a few hundred million dollars? If not, you're not playing the Kim Jong Il role :-) > > This is hardly reassuring for the lone practitioner. I've heard all this rhetoric about Big Evil Co shutting down lone practicioners with their bogus patents, but nobody has cited a single real case. Just today we had yet another example of a lone practicioner with a patent on something obvious (even in 1990 - remember DDE?) trying to shake down Microsoft for $500 million, and "only" getting $8 million for his trouble. I admit to a bit of bias considering on which side my bread is buttered, but maybe Symantec *should* have patented the obvious idea of virus filtering during file transfer, and MS should have patented the obvious idea of getting data out of a database and into a spreadsheet when they had the chance. NOT because they could have stomped the small fry with their gorilla feet, but because they could have saved $70 million between them (not counting legal fees) on these two cases alone. > That is not a lot of forces. All I've heard specifically is > corporate image and anti-trust law. Consider IBM in the 1980's after their Consent Decree with the DoJ that settled a long running antitrust case. Many observers blame IBM's extremely poor (from their point of view, not the rest of the world's!) decision making with respect to their PC architecture, the rights to the PC operating system, etc. on their paranoia about re-opening the antitrust case. They very nearly let the company die a slow lingering death in the late '80s / early '90s rather than play gorilla and face the DoJ again. That is one BIG force.
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