Being Sued Over Microsoft Office Macros

Posted in Boycott Novell, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Patents, VBA at 10:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following exchange of words suggests that Novel could get sued over OpenOffice macros and even put other companies at risk.

This has direct implications to the guys at Novell who are working on VBA integration with OpenOffice.org. Sure, with the new partnership between Microsoft and Novell, customers of Novell would not get sued, but the Novell team themselves and all other OpenOffice.org users are at risk here. So it’s imperative the Microsoft provides an answer if closely related technologies to MSOOXML are also covered in this covenant, so it is possible for third parties to develop solutions.

This is not yet definite, but Boycott Novell raised this as a possible legal risk in the past. Security aside.


There Needs to be a Device

Posted in Courtroom, FSF, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 7:54 pm by Shane Coyle

Software code is not patentable, as many have asserted previously (pdf) and now we have additional confirmation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s stance on the matter, via oral arguments in Microsoft v AT&T:

MR. OLSON [For Microsoft]: The ’580 patent is a program, as I understand it, that’s married to a computer, has to be married to a computer in order to be patented.
JUSTICE SCALIA: You can’t patent, you know, on-off, on-off code in the abstract, can you?
MR. OLSON: That’s correct, Justice Scalia.
JUSTICE SCALIA: There needs to be a device.
MR. OLSON: An idea or a principle, two plus two equals four can’t be patented. It has to be put together with a machine and made into a usable device.

There are more quotes over at the Patently-O site regarding whether code can be patented on its own, check it out.

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