06.25.10

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Microsoft Patents a Trick Related to Web Browser Tabs and Apple Attacks Linux With Junk Patents

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 1:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We’ve always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

Steve Jobs

Summary: Microsoft claims ownership of a software-implemented ‘invention’ in Internet Explorer; Google is attacked by software patents from Apple and Frontier Communications

Microsoft has always been shameless about ‘stealing’ great ideas from competitors. After copying many companies’ Internet-related products (Opera, Netscape, Mozilla, etc.) they are patenting Web browser functionality. Yes, the company which was late in embracing the Web wants to block others from access to ideas like the ones Microsoft ‘stole’ from competitors. From the pro-Microsoft Web site called Neowin:

According to a software patent, the Quick Tabs feature in Internet Explorer is likely to be enhanced with better functionality and greater tab management options.

Microsoft and Apple are both just copying and sometimes taking other people's browser code. How come they see it improper for other companies to participate in this area? If anything, Apple and Microsoft owe a lot to Free software when it comes to Internet/Web technology. Apple's new lawsuit against Free software was mentioned here very recently. Apple still uses — offensively — software patents that it never deserved in the first place (there’s a lot more in terms of articles about it as Apple gets covered a lot in the press these days). Wildeboer from Red Hat writes about this Apple patent sarcastically: ‘”slide to unlock” – patented by Apple. How inventive.’

Here is another new Google lawsuit, which will potentially work against Android/Linux (although very indirectly):

Frontier Communications Corp. has sued Google Inc., claiming infringement of a patent for enhanced telephone services. Frontier said in the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Delaware, that Google is violating patent rights with products such as the Google Voice system.

Google intends to use such software also in its phones. The best thing to happen right now is for all software patents to just become void. In Re Bilski is definitely due on Monday. We’ll write some more about it during the weekend. There are early signs that Bilski will lose again.

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A Single Comment

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    June 25, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Gravatar

    BTW, the LPF once boycotted Apple for it’s assertion of look-and-feel patents and FSF participated. It ended in 1995:
    http://www.gnu.org/bulletins/bull18.html#SEC13

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