Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft's Brian Jones Assembles OOXML Patent Portfolio

"It’s hard for Microsoft to commit to what comes out of Ecma [the European standards group that has already OK’d OOXML] in the coming years, because we don’t know what direction they will take the formats. We’ll of course stay active and propose changes based on where we want to go with Office 14. At the end of the day, though, the other Ecma members could decide to take the spec in a completely different direction. … Since it’s not guaranteed, it would be hard for us to make any sort of official statement."

--Brian Jones, Microsoft



“With all those contradictions and spin, would you truly believe him when he promises not to use patents to defend OOXML?”Brian Jones is not a particularly pleasant character (see recent examples [1 2]) and he was caught resorting to some nasty spins in the past (e.g. [1, 2]) although he in fact admitted that ECMA OOXML is flawed and unfinished ([1, 2, 3]). With all those contradictions and spin, would you truly believe him when he promises not to use patents to defend OOXML? And look at the new findings: what do we have here?

For fun we just did a quick search of published US patent applications with "Brian Jones" as an author, and "Microsoft" as the assignee.

[...]

Some of these, like the packing ones, seem to apply directly to OOXML. What isn't clear to us is why Microsoft would pursue patent protection for patents rights that their are promising that they won't assert over users of OOXML.


As we have shown before, Microsoft is quietly building a patent arsenal for OOXML [1, 2, 3, 4]. This has "patent ambush" written all over it and Microsoft can attack by proxy, using outside parties, just like SCO. This renders "promises not to sue" obsolete. Given the deception we've seen coming endlessly from Brian Jones (c/f examples at the top), who can you really trust?

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