Coffeehouse Thread

8 posts

MSFT destroying its own PR

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  • User profile image
    BinaryBoy

    Channel9 is great.  You've been achieving your apparent goals of informing developers and generating a more positive image for the company.  I genuinely have a more favorable view of MS after seeing and hearing the individual workers in the videos and occasionally dealing with a few of them one on one. 

    Unfortunately reality came along and threw me a staggering sucker punch with the following story regarding MS attempting to patent a representation of longitude and latitude. http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/06/1437236&tid=155&tid=109

    This type of behavior overwhelms any warm, fuzzy feelings generated by channel 9.

  • User profile image
    SPExperts

    I've been lurking here forever, and THIS post made me join.

    Pardon me for feeding the trolls, but would you mind explaining why this patent "threw [you] a staggering sucker punch"?  Seems to me that they're patenting the concept of using a Base-36 system (if I do my math correctly) to encode floating point numbers, and the example quoted relates to Long/Lat coordinate systems.

    Sorry, but I don't get why that's a big deal, or why your warm, fuzzy feelings are now, presumably, cold and hard.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Because it was on Slashdot.

  • User profile image
    Jorgie

    Wake up and smell the coffee BB. If they don't at least attempt to patent it, and someone else does they will get sued for using it.

    Microsoft is a huge target, and there are thousands of folks outhere that make their living by getting patents on things that allow them to sue MS and many other large companies.

    In today's world Microsoft and everyother comapany out there has to protect the technology they use. Because of this is, it is a regular business to trademark/papent anything and everything.

    Until patent/trademark laws get more reasonable, this is going to continue. At this point they are simply playing the CYA game.

    You cannot blame MS for playing by the rules, they did not create them.

    Jorgie

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Because it is an axe above the head of anyone who implements this if Microsoft provide a service that relies on it. Terraserver for instance, no third party apps would be able to interop with it if Microsoft so wishes (this is just an example and they might already explicitly disallow this). Software patents == Bad.

  • User profile image
    BinaryBoy

    SPExperts wrote:
    Pardon me for feeding the trolls, but would you mind explaining why this patent "threw [you] a staggering sucker punch"?


    It creates a forced incompatibility between map sites that will cause frustration for users.  It can also prevent third party client apps from encoding compatible URLs.  That eliminates competition through legal means rather than competing on quality.

  • User profile image
    Minh

    Jorgie wrote:
    Wake up and smell the coffee BB. If they don't at least attempt to patent it, and someone else does they will get sued for using it.
    No. If MS didn't patent it but used it first, then they can win based on prior arts. You can't patent something that's already in used. I think software is patentable, but man, reading about some of the algorithms that have been granted, it makes you wonder if we need software patent reform. It'll come down to somebody patenting something really simple, somebody big uses it, got sued, but wins, then the laws can be changed.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Minh wrote:
    No. If MS didn't patent it but used it first, then they can win based on prior arts. You can't patent something that's already in used.


    Nice idea. Trouble is you never quite know how these things will work out. And you have to deal with all the legal hassle. It's probably quicker and easier to patent it yourself, file that away somewhere and know that your safe. The cost of a patent application is going to be considerably cheaper than a few hours of Microsoft's lawyer time!

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