Archive for December 29th, 2006

Yet Another Debate. Micosoft filed a patent on RSS, and Dave Winer isn’t too happy about that (start reading his blog here). And then everybody started to talk about it… Yes, there is a lot that can be said about this subject:

  • RSS is about ‘syndication’. Syndication isn’t happening if nobody aggregates whatever is available for syndication. So maybe legally speaking Microsoft’s patent isn’t about the RSS definition itself… but you can’t separate the format RSS from syndication plus aggregation. And looking at it like that there’s sufficient “prior art” to make this patent (and possibly others like it) null and invalid.
  • Some Microsoft honcho writes: “Patent portfolios are the best defense against patent infringement lawsuits. Many times there are overlapping patents or very similar patents on any technology. When a big company is sued the first thing they do is look at their own patent portfolio for a similar patent so they can counter sue“. In other words: patents can be very dangerous for a company, so we need to have them too… That’s like: guns are very dangerous, so we need to have them too. Or should I infer from this blog entry’s title that the author considers that “lunatic” as well? If so, why defend that point of view?
  • How do you use in invalid or non-existing patent in your struggle against patent trolls (who are probably owning a lot of extermely questionable patents as well) ? Is having deep financial pockets really sufficient to play in this game? And if so, what does that tell you about the word “justice”?
  • If patent trolls are the biggest winners in the patent war, what do we need patents for?
  • ‘RSS’ may well be the abbreviation of ‘RDF Site Syndication’, not “Really Simple Syndication’ (the Wikipedia seems to prefer an evolving definition)

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