Bonum Certa Men Certa

Another Microsoft Patent Deal, No Linux Though

Microsoft patent deals such as this latest one would not be worth mentioning under most circumstances. However, interestingly enough, it is a Chinese company that pays for imaginary things, which almost contradicts de facto law and practice in that nation [1, 2].

Microsoft Corp. and Beijing Komoxo Mobile Software Inc. today announced a patent licensing agreement on text-input technologies for mobile devices. The licensed patents allow Komoxo to integrate Microsoft's statistical language modeling methods into its next-generation text-input engine for reduced keypad and touch-screen devices, and deliver new mobile innovations to consumers around the world.

"Statistical language modeling methods" sounds like mathematics. Is China buying permission for writing algorithms? We are in danger of approaching a state where there is too much binary or digital collision between computer programs and the patent system is then rendered moot or makes a chaotic sea of lawsuits. Several days ago we mentioned an article from The Economist, wherein almost a million patent lawsuits are predicted, in China alone.

For the record, Xomoxo seems to have nothing to do with Linux, based on a basic Web search.

Microsoft is not the only company to be accused and it's important not to be IPocrities. Google too is now patenting behaviour and algorithms for studying it.

Since not every single one gets clicked on, Google's ads might be considered less than perfect. A new patent application would make behavioral targeting a central part of improving them.


Meanwhile, it'll be worth watching Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Ask, and every other search company to see if they pursue similar paths. Patent applications sometimes spill the beans, so to speak, and set off a race even as businesses try to stay in the clear legally.

Patenting behavioral things, eh? Next best thing to patents on stem cells.

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