Apparently the Patent Office said: "yes, it is a stupid patent, but it is better than the average Microsoft patent."
Microsoft's request to have the patent claim it brought against Canadian software maker i4i examined has been thrown out by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). i4i said it was pleased that all the claims of US patent number 5,787,449 that belong to the company came out unscathed following a re-examination called for by …
"there still remain important matters of patent law at stake, and we are considering our options to get them addressed", but presumably not by banning forbidding all software patents. Microsoft can comfort themselves that, as with other patents, this one will expire in around 20 years.
Live by the sword, die by the sword.
"Get it reet up ye!"
Patents, by and large, are a detriment to software. There probably are a few occasions where a patent protects masses of R&D on something truly novel but most....most protect the blatantly obvious or otherwise predictable.
Whilst I am deeply enjoying the Schadenfreude of MS getting reamed by a patent, I would much rather that i4i did not have this patent (or only had a seriously time limited) and that MS did not have its bollocks patents of FAT etc.
But if MS see fit to screw over HTC, TomTom and threaten the world with their mystery patents; then it is only fair that the world can screw them back.
Top tip to HTC, TomTom et al: chuck some money at F/OSS. Get them to write drivers that can be istalled on Windows for EXT2/3/4/Whatever and then stick two fingers up to the MS bully-boys.
I thought at one point last year MS said the code in Office covered by i4i's patent wasn't really used much by anyone, if at all . Now they're saying it's so important that they're willing to waste the Supreme Court's time with it. Oh, that's right, they have two sides to their lying mouth.
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