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Microsoft ‘Patents’ ODF Whilst Also Harming It

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenDocument, Patents, Standard at 5:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

Summary: Microsoft becomes a patent liability to ODF and gets slammed for ridiculing ODF (again)

ONE reader told us last night that “Microsoft patents ODF in Costa Rica.” Another reader warned us about something similar this morning, but we haven’t yet permission to publish it. Anyway, regarding the news from Costa Rica, a reader sent us an automatic Google translation of this page:

Microsoft software patents in Costa Rica.

(42 Reads)

Submitted by root on Friday, May 08, 2009 – 04:47

Appeared published in Official Gazette of the State of Costa Rica, 28, 29 and January 30 this year (2009).

The published text is as follows:

Mr Edgar Zurcher Gurdian, card No. 1-532-390, more, divorced, lawyer, resident of San Jose, as a special agent of Microsoft Corporation, USA, claims the patent called WORD PROCESSOR DOCUMENT STORAGE XML in a single file that can be manipulated by applications that CAPTAN XML. The present invention is to provide a word processing document in a native file format XMIL that can be understood by an application that understands XML, or enable a different application or service to succeed in creating a document in rich XMIL, so the word processing application can open as if one of your own documents. The description, claims, and abstract designs are deposited, the International Patent Classification is Sixth Edition G06F 17/22, whose inventors are Jones, Brian M., Bishop, Andrew K., Snyder, Daniel R., Sawicki, Marcin, Little, Robert A., Krueger, Anthony D. The application is numbered 6980 and was presented at 14:08:39 on 19 May 2003. Any interested party
may object within the three months after the third publication of this notice. Published three consecutive days in the Official Gazette and once in a newspaper nacional.-San Jose, December 12 the 2008.-Lic. Helen Cabrera Marín, Registrar .- (4630).

The period for claims and won.

As you can notice this patent also corresponds exactly to what makes OpenOffice Writer.

It’s really a shame that these things happen, especially when they had been warned in advance. Let us hope that Costa Ricans and one of innocence.

There is some other news out there, such as <No>OOXML calling for people to abolish Microsoft’s Office handling of ODF.

- Ask the ODF Alliance to publish a press release recommending not using the “Save as ODF” facility included MS Office SP2, due to the bad quality of the produced ODF files.


- Start a petition asking Microsoft to make MS Office SP2 unavailable until the design flaws in the product have been corrected.

We must make it clear to Microsoft that their attitude is not acceptable, and force them to behave in a better way.

As Christian Einfeldt put it yesterday, Microsoft says that ODF not a “standard”, but ODF=ISO26300 is implemented widely. As he rightly argues, Microsoft is being disingenuous here. Another person wrote, “Don’t let Microsoft cripple the ODF standard – don’t use Office 2007 SP2′s support: use the Sun plug-in instead.” In a blog post, one person argues that “Microsoft vs. ODF is arrogance on display.”

Note to Microsoft: This is not how standards work. Frankly, if you don’t intend to support ODF properly, you may as well not support it at all. What your product writes isn’t ODF. When your product reads ODF, it silently discards important parts of the data. (Yes, the formulas in spreadsheets are important. That’s the whole purpose of a spreadsheet program! Otherwise we may as well be using pencil, paper, and calculators.)

Speaking of arrogance, Charles wrote a long post about Microsoft's arrogant attack on Rob Weir.

These are very interesting times for ODF and Open Standards. Microsoft’s latest outrage by Gray Knowlton does at least show that if there’s a company who practices the « Do as I say, not as I do », it’s Microsoft. Gray Knowlton is now calling for Rob Weir, chair of the ODF Technical Committee at the OASIS Consortium to resign. I understand Gray. Gray is the Product Manager of Microsoft Office at Microsoft. Which means he is ultimately to blame for the lousy job Microsoft engineers have done in implementing ODF inside Microsoft Office. Gray is in the front line, and you can bet he’s having to answer some tough calls from customers right now. Gray does not have to ride the smooth « try Seven after Vista » wave; he has to go through the clutter that Microsoft’s big heads have created by thinking: What if we had ODF wrecked inside Office and get the world to believe that it’s not our fault? That’s Gray’s problem. And this is how we come to the waterboarding of Rob. But I digress.


Bad, bad, evil Rob. Not only he didn’t go to your grand astroturfing party, but he apparently forgot to mention SP2 at the coffee machine ten times in a rowthe day you released it. That must be depressing. Anyway; talking about missing the chance to provide your input before things happen: How come Microsoft left the OASIS ODF TC in 2003?

As a final note for the time being, it is sad to see that Marbux is still bickering after he (and the ODF Foundation he was in) threw a fit [1, 2]. He is fueling and feeding standards trolls like Alex Brown.

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A Single Comment

  1. twitter said,

    May 9, 2009 at 11:10 am


    I’m not sure why ODF supporters would stand behind Sun’s Office Plug-in instead of Sun’s Open Office. The best way to promote open standards is to use them preferentially. M$ Office will never do this and should simply not be used.

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