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USPTO Promotes Microsoft Monopoly and Proprietary Software (Updatedx2)

Related: USPTO Rewards Microsoft for Corruption at ISO by Teaching People Proprietary OOXML and Promoting Its Use | USPTO Craziness: Changing Rules to Punish PTAB Petitioners and Reward Microsoft for Corruption at ISO | Conflict of Interest: Microsoft and IBM Controlling the USPTO and Leaving GNU/Linux Users Shut Out (in the Cold) | Why Wouldn't an Office That Grants Monopolies Support Microsoft Monopoly?

Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership
"Modernizing" as in adding vendor lock-in and pushing proprietary dependencies



Summary: Classic example of vendor capture; Microsoft engaged in endless and well-documented corruption to push OOXML and now the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) participates in this marketing propaganda; moreover it financially penalises people who don't use Microsoft's proprietary formats; this is certainly what Microsoft lobbied for. "Just got this from the USPTO," a reader told us about this new E-mail and Web page (promoted via E-mail). "I'm not too savvy on this DOCX stuff, but I notice the word "surcharge," and I guess they've figured out another way to scam fees from Linux users." Similarly, the EPO was illegally outsourced to Microsoft. They infiltrate and take over patent offices, just like that.

Update: Someone has written a summary about this:

There are still a few months to fix this, but for now the US Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Acting Commissioner for Patents, Andrew Faile, and Chief Information Officer, Jamie Holcombe, have announced that starting January 1st, 2022, the USPTO will institute a surcharge for applicants that are not locked into Microsoft products via the proprietary DOCX format. From that date onwards, the USPTO will move away from PDF and require all filers to use that proprietary format or face an arbitrary surcharge when filing.

First, we delayed the effective date for the non-DOCX surcharge fee to January 1, 2022, to provide more time for applicants to transition to this new process, and for the USPTO to continue our outreach efforts and address customer concerns. We've also made office actions available in DOCX and XML formats and further enhanced DOCX features, including accepting DOCX for drawings in addition to the specification, claims, and abstract for certain applications.

One out of several major problems with the plans is that DOCX is a proprietary format. There are several variants of DOCX and each of them are really only supported by a single company's products. Some other products have had progress in beginning to reverse engineering it, but are hindered by the lack of documentation. DOCX is a competitor to the fully-documented, open standard OpenDocument Format, also known as ISO/IEC 26300.

DOCX is not to be confused with OOXML, though it often is. While OOXML, also known as ISO/IEC 29500, is technically standardized, it is incompletely documented and only vaguely related to DOCX. The DOCX format itself is neither fully documented nor standard. So the USPTO is also engaged in spreading disinformation by asserting that it is.

Previously:
(2015) Microsoft Threatened the UK Over Open Standards




Original Submission



Update #2: This controversy has reached more mainstream media. E.g.:



Two years ago someone warned about it:



This 'Microsoft tax' was discussed months ago by litigation giants:

microsoft-tax

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