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08.17.10

Microsoft Technical Leader Says That “Software Patents Suck”

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 4:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: “Software Patents Suck” says the headline of a new post from Michael S. Kaplan and Ed Burnette’s headlines says that “software patents are a joke, literally”

Michael S. Kaplan is/was “Technical Lead at Microsoft, centering on Collation, Keyboards, and Locales. He was the principal developer for both the Microsoft Layer for Unicode on Windows 9x and the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator.”

Kaplan used to serve an army of drones who do what pays the bill (wage) and what lawyers/MBAs tell them, not what makes sense. Well, perhaps he has decided not to leave his brain in a jar when he goes to work, only to follow orders like it’s a dictatorship. Despite or because of such disclaimers, Michael S. Kaplan has decided to say in MSDN that “Software patents suck” and here is his story:

Software patents suck

[...]

After that last patent, I stopped pursuing patents at Microsoft, I stopped focusing on whether any particular idea was good enough to be patented. And I moved to a job where no matter how good an idea of mine was, it wouldn’t be my responsibility to pursue getting a patent for it, so I never even had to answer the question again.

Call me a conscientious objector in this war that uses software patents as weapons.

Because software patents suck.

Make a copy of this page. It might be gone/modified soon.

In other news, Ed Burnette has a similar opinion.

Unfortunately, the joke is on all of us. It’s on our economy, as we let patents choke down innovation and increase fear, uncertainty, and doubt in an already uncertain time. It’s on our bottom lines, as we make busy-work for our expensive lawyers with their sparkling eyes instead of investing for the future. And it’s on our collective consciousness, as we force good and decent people to act against the better angels of their nature.

When even Microsoft employees are willing to say the truth and refute their employer, then clearly there’s nobody left (except lawyers, lobbyists, and people like Ballmer who employ them) to tell the world that software patents are necessary. It’s time to dump them all (the software patents, not those necessarily those who promote them).

“If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.”

Bill Gates (when Microsoft was smaller)

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