Summary: Microsoft has lied about OOXML patents and willfully infringed patents with it, only to be denounced years down the line
The whole point of docx didn’t seem to be to help users, but rather to make life difficult for both Microsoft competitors and for users who decided not to upgrade from the previous Word versions that used only the .doc format.
Microsoft deserves to lose this one.
Many people have warned about OOXML patents since 2007 (if not earlier). To give a sample of posts:
- Now Comes the OOXML Patent Tax (Microsoft Lied)
- Microsoft OOXML: Patents, Patents, Patents (…x14)
- Microsoft’s OOXML Patents, Apple’s Endorsement, and the Rise of OpenOffice.org
- Countries Worldwide Express Concern About OOXML Patents
- OOXML Has Software Patent Problems; Iffy OOXML Business in India Again
- OOXML Software Patents and Other Serious Problems with the USPTO
- Microsoft Keeps Trying to Inject Software Patents Into ODF and Other Standards
- Office Open XML (OOXML): Software Patents, Briberies, Binaries, O/S-dependent Bits
So it is no surprise that Objectivists would be distressed by this phenomenon. Not only are they among the most ardent modern advocates of intellectual property (in addition to Andrew J. Galambos [see Against Intellectual Property], and perhaps J. Neil Schulman), but Rand in a sense built her entire philosophical edifice on IP: to-wit, Rand incredibly said that “patents are the heart and core of property rights” and Objectivist law professor Adam Mossoff explicitly claims that “All Property is Intellectual Property” (see Objectivists: “All Property is Intellectual Property”). And so, realizing Rand’s arguments for IP are deeply flawed, and that fewer and fewer people are buying it, they are starting to fight back.