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MSFT filing patents for someone else's feature.

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  • User profile image
    Jack Cade

    Not content with copying a feature wholesale, Microsoft is attempting to patent it

    And please, read the links before you accuse me of bringing up the copy argument without proof.



  • User profile image
    Another_​Darren

    Wow how lame.  The screens are almost identical, and the whole process seems to be copied.  As for the patent I'm sure they won't get it as you just present BlueJ as prior art.

  • User profile image
    Jack Cade

    Another_Darren wrote:
     As for the patent I'm sure they won't get it as you just present BlueJ as prior art.


    Unfortunately that is likely to involve money and lawyers, and is not easily achieved from outside the US.  This guy has been screwed over - lets just wait until MSFT ask him to license the feature.

  • User profile image
    Another_​Darren

    Oh hold on it's not Microsoft's fault... It's the teachers!

    http://blogs.msdn.com/danielfe/archive/2005/06/14/428973.aspx

    So if you now know it's copied, why still patent it unless you are trying to destroy the competition?

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Another_Darren wrote:

    So if you now know it's copied, why still patent it unless you are trying to destroy the competition?


    To avoid someone else doing the same? See Eolas.

  • User profile image
    borosen

    AndyC wrote:
    
    Another_Darren wrote:
    So if you now know it's copied, why still patent it unless you are trying to destroy the competition?


    To avoid someone else doing the same? See Eolas.


    I don't know the details here, just read the links provided, so I am not accusing Microsoft of patenting work of others.

    If things are as bad as it sounds, (i.e. MS is successfully getting this patented) things really need to change.

    Do you actually think it is OK to patent something, others have prior art on?


  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    borosen wrote:
    Do you actually think it is OK to patent something, others have prior art on?


    It's not OK to patent software, period.

  • User profile image
    borosen

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    borosen wrote:Do you actually think it is OK to patent something, others have prior art on?


    It's not OK to patent software, period.


    I am inclined to agree with you

  • User profile image
    Yggdrasil

    W3bbo wrote:
    It's not OK to patent software, period.


    Ok, since it seems that most people so far are in agreement that MS shouldn't patent something that is not their own invention, I think I'll hijack this thread now and take it to a more general level.

    Patents, as I (and others) see them, exist to encourage inventors to share their invention with the world without fearing that they will be snatched by larger companies and they won't get compensation for their work.

    Since you oppose software patents, how do you want to preserve this protection?

  • User profile image
    borosen

    Yggdrasil wrote:
    
    W3bbo wrote:It's not OK to patent software, period.


    Ok, since it seems that most people so far are in agreement that MS shouldn't patent something that is not their own invention, I think I'll hijack this thread now and take it to a more general level.

    Patents, as I (and others) see them, exist to encourage inventors to share their invention with the world without fearing that they will be snatched by larger companies and they won't get compensation for their work.

    Since you oppose software patents, how do you want to preserve this protection?


    What protection?

    Håkan Lans

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Yggdrasil wrote:
    Since you oppose software patents, how do you want to preserve this protection?


    I'm against software patents in practice, not so much on principle.

    On a case-by-case basis, this is how I feel things should work, but IANAL so wait for AndyC to come in and point me wrong (as usual). Still:

    Particular implementation
    Already covered under copyright, no need to patent it

    User-interface level feature (like O2007's Ribbon or the Object Test Bench)
    Patentable, but should be licensable for a reasonable fee, but only if something is particularly innovative (which is subjective, unfortunately)

    Patent for a way of doing things under-the-hood
    Unpatentable, often there's only one or two ways of doing something

    And patents should only be granted to companies who activly produce software/products using these patented things or act as an R+D firm. Not companies that just license things out without innovating (i.e. patent sharks/trolls)

  • User profile image
    RichardRudek

    You know, I have an analogy between lawyers and personal hygene: if you don't wash, brush your teeth, etc, then Bacteria and Fungus tends to overload your various systems, often leading to bad things.

    I'm sure many of you have heard the stories of Bill (Gates) and others that have needed to push on through the night to get things ready for a Demo or Presentation, completely unaware of how "ripe" they have become.

    What we're seeing more and more often, appears to the result of this type of neglect - neglect of "personal hygene" by the core staff: the programmers, architects, and the various other people directly involved with the production of software. Saying "that's not my job", effectively gives free reign to the support staff, some of who will manipulate themselves into "positions of power".

    For example. I recently found out about the Mini-Microsoft site. If the stuff there is true, where people are required (through various means) to "perform", being analysed by the Human Resources types, etc, then I see that as being one of, if not the most obvious source of "corruption". Basically, this kind of stuff generally leads to empire building, and an over obsession with advancement - the various side effects, may not be what you expected. Especially if we're talking about laywers.

    As an outsider, hearing various stories about the goings on within Microsoft,  if these are true, then is there any wonder about the outcomes... Microsoft seems long overdue for some acts of personal hygene, within Management, with emphasis upon the HR and the Lawyer divisions...

    Now, for some fun, extrapolate this to the various overseas divisions of Microsoft, where, on the whole, the core stuff are pretty much missing - the majority of them (apprently) being over in America. Now, how do they generate the revenue to pay for all this - price disparities, anyone...

    But then again, what do I know... Wink

  • User profile image
    Ray6

    The reason that companies tend to patent everything they can is to cover themselves; MS doesn't want to take the chance that someone else will come along and patent the thing, and then they end up paying royalties on it. So it's not really about gathering patents to sue people in the future; it's to stop them getting sued by anyone else.

    Having said that, this really is a poor show. MS has quite obviously just lifted the code and ported it to their own environment, without even acknowledging the source. That's pretty low IMO.



  • User profile image
    Yggdrasil

    borosen wrote:
     What protection?

    Håkan Lans


    The protection that hundreds and thousands of inventors enjoy every day, regardless of situations like the one above where justice was perverted. Will you condemn the whole system because it's not 100% perfect?

  • User profile image
    borosen

    Yggdrasil wrote:
    
    borosen wrote: What protection?

    Håkan Lans


    The protection that hundreds and thousands of inventors enjoy every day, regardless of situations like the one above where justice was perverted. Will you condemn the whole system because it's not 100% perfect?


    I do beleive there is nothing that is 100% perfect.

    Just wanted to point out that if you beleive you are protected by having a patent, you should check again.

    And when it comes to software patents; I have read a couple of examples similar to the BlueJ example above, where a bigger company with their amount of money and lawyers patent something someone else already have in production.

    Are these examples I have read true or not?
    I don't know, but I do know companies are there to make money, and I do believe they will do what they think is possible to come by within the law.

  • User profile image
    BlackTiger

    How about to patent sunset picture?...

    Satan introduced money, property, false prophets, mortgages, loans, patents, DRM... Every basic of our world.

    Are you still sure our world still belongs to God? Where, hell, the Hell is?

    If you stumbled and fell down, it doesn't mean yet, that you're going in the wrong direction.
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  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Having had to use BlueJ as part of a uni course I have to say I'm rather sickened by this.

    MS should pull the patent app and apologise. A lot.

    The excuse that it's academics pushing for it feels rather hollow. The academic market for BlueJ is rather different to that for VS, full or Express editions. If they wanted that market they should have done the decent thing and sponsored the BlueJ people, and perhaps SharpDevelop to mirror the BlueJ teaching approach in C#.

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    That is exactly the type of thing that should not be allowed to have a patent and should be turned away at the door.  How else could it be done with a GUI?  That is like getting a patent on a button.  Some things are just so obvious that if you give the same problem to 100 devs, they would all come up with something very similar.

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