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Microsoft Pretends It Invented Office Suites, Obtains Another Patent on OOXML

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents at 6:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Microsoft mocks rivals by pretending that office suites are a Microsoft “innovation”; another XML patent sneaks through

MICROSOFT has got a lot of nerve and arrogance; as we showed some days ago, it claims credit for the GUI even though it took the idea from others. Likewise, Microsoft wants people to think that Microsoft Office is the “real” product by calling its rivals “fake Office”. To quote some commentary about it:

One of the reason why Microsoft attracts so much bad press is their trash talk. If you follow Microsoft’s recent track record you will see a pattern. It begins with Steve Ballmer or any spokesperson from Microsoft making a disparaging comment about something, usually a competitor’s product. Later the product goes on to become a huge success and those blockheaded comments come around to kick Microsoft on their ass. More often than not, Microsoft ends up eating their own words.

Microsoft is not only pretending that products like Windows and Office are the first of their kind. As we showed before, Microsoft also claims ownership of parts of XML, with examples that we wrote about in:

A few days ago Microsoft was granted the following US patent whose title is “File formats, methods, and computer program products for representing presentations” and abstract says: “File formats, methods, and computer program products are provided for representing a presentation in a modular content framework. The modular content framework may include a file format container associated with modular parts. A file format includes logically separate modular parts that are associated with each other by one or more relationships where each modular part is associated with a relationship type. The modular parts include a presentation part representing a start part for the presentation, a slide master part associated with the presentation part, and a slide layout part associated with the slide master part. The modular parts may also include a document properties part containing built-in properties associated with the file format, a thumbnail part containing associated thumbnails, and a slide part containing a slide in the presentation. Each modular part is capable of being interrogated separately, extracted from the presentation, and/or reused in a different presentation.

Aside from the fact that this is a software patents (and should thus be put in the wastebasket), it is yet another example of Microsoft’s patent strategy. It can’t make enough money from selling products (thus the offshoring and layoffs), so it is focused on making money from other companies’ products.

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  1. dyfet said,

    November 7, 2009 at 8:09 am


    Yes, very often they will patent something that really is other people’s work. In the rest of the world there is at least a concept of plagiarism, but in patents there is no penalties for knowingly filing false patent claims.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There is such an issue only for infringements and Microsoft was caught telling stuff not to read patent applications precisely because it can lead to severe punishment (willful infringement as in the i4i case).

    dyfet Reply:

    This only applies with regard to other ideas that have also already been or are being patented. Many of Microsoft’s patents are things that are common and have been in existence or practiced for a very long time but never patented. Many are things (like software ideas) which should never be patented either, of course. My favorite example is Microsoft’s recent origins “patent” for annotating and listing “todo” comments in source code, a common and very old practice. This to me constitutes deliberate public fraud.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 7, 2009 at 9:04 am


    Microsoft boosters pretend that Bill Gates invented everything.

    Revisionist history is used all the time. Look at the Booster articles claiming that everyone was happy with Vista, either now or at launch.
    – Not!

    Same for XP and XP SP2.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    That’s the same Time which hosted a series of articles praising Bill Gates. All of them were composed by the husband of the Gates Foundation’s head. In other words, it’s PR.

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