05.17.07

Shhh – Microsoft is For Patent Reform, Really

Posted in Action, Courtroom, Deception, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:36 pm by Shane Coyle

Some observers believe that Microsoft is actually stirring up heated debates over patents and the patent system in order to rally support for a wide-ranging patent reform bill recently debated in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property.

To some observers, Microsoft Corp. seemed to have an odd sense of timing when it complained recently that open-source projects have allegedly violated 235 of its patents.

At the same time, Microsoft’s Washington, D.C., staff is pushing for a patent overhaul bill that would make it tougher for patent holders to sue and collect large damage awards against infringers.

That patent reform bill came up for debate Wednesday, just days after Fortune published a story in which Microsoft officials claimed widespread violation of its patents in open source software.

I had earlier written about Microsoft’s involvement in a non-software-related case argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, in which Microsoft was seemingly on the side of patent reform.

We also have excerpts of the oral arguments from the recent AT&T case that truly seem to indicate that Microsoft has, to some degree, recognized the abysmal state of the U.S. Patent System and its potential to stagnate the entire technology sector of our economy.

Now, they just need to get it through their heads that software, in and of itself, isn’t patentable.

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2 Comments

  1. Balaji Sowmyanarayanan said,

    May 17, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Gravatar

    Indeed if it is true, that will earn a lot of goodwill towards Microsoft. Microsoft is at a wonderful opportunity point:
    “Hey we just assesed our patent portfolio, our lawyers are saying open source violates some of them, but we are just going to release some of our patents in the public domain.
    By doing this, we will just turn the table on everyone on the game and more importantly become the darling of the geek community again.[Assuming of course our new products dont suck]”

    Go pink Microsoft! Your shareholders will thank you for that!

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 17, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Gravatar

    Isn’t that just what Blackboard did a couple of months ago? (with an ugly snag caught by Groklaw)

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