28. April 2011 17:57
First it was Amazon with the infamous “one click” patent, and later the dubious ‘i4i’ lawsuit against Microsoft’s use of XML. Along the way, numerous trivial and obvious user interface or data preparation methodologies have been patented and protected by an out-of-control patent system.
Microsoft was often the victim of such manifest injustices, but now it is perpetrating the same type of morally reprehensible litigation on Barnes & Noble’s “Nook” e-reader. Trying to patent the tabbed dialog or cut-and-paste should be like trying to catch the wind. These facilities are everywhere, and have existed in one form or another for forty years.
Personally, I can understand Oracle’s Larry Ellison playing fast and loose with Java licensing, or the owners of the Novell patents trying to milk (i.e. bilk) the system. But Microsoft? Granted, Microsoft has never directly espoused Google’s “do well while doing good” mantra, but at least its actions have rarely been based on such market-driven submarining as the Barnes & Noble suit. I guess MS’s failure to achieve a position in the tablet market has led it to trying to hold successful tablet vendors for ransom.
Shame on you, Microsoft. After releasing .Net for open specification and quasi-embracing open source, you had to pull this one. Just develop a better product and let the market decide. The unpleasant truth is that IP lawyers have enough work to do in our litigious culture without meritless lawsuits from multi-billion-dollar corporations.