[OT] Re: Geoworks and their patent

Terje Norderhaug terje at in-progress.com
Mon Jan 24 04:12:30 GMT 2000

At 5:28 PM 1/23/00, David Megginson wrote:
>"Dave Winer" <dave at userland.com> writes:
>> Haven't seen this discussed here.
>> http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,9021,00.html
>> WAP is based on XML. A hot standard if there every was one. But there seems
>> to be a bug in the system. How will the Internet route around killer
>> patents?
>There's not much we can do up here in Canada -- as far as I know, most
>countries don't allow software patents; however, the U.S. does, and
>it's too big a market for the rest of the world to ignore.

Not only that, but the US government is working on enforcing their patents
in the rest of the world. So those outside the US have good reasons to be
concerned about what's going on. By being very liberal in granting patents,
the intellectual property balance becomes tilted in USA's favor.

At the same time, progress is stifled as it becomes hard to innovate in
software without infringing on a number of patents. The winners are large
corporations with their in-house patent lawyers and plenty of patents on
file. I doubt that IBM and their equals are too unhappy with the situation,
they just patent as much as they can and swap licenses with others whenever
they need something patented by somebody else.

>The American readers of this list have a big election coming up, and
>they have candidates from both parties trying to get support from the
>tech industry.  Make software patents an issue now, when you have the
>chance, and do the rest of us a big favour.

Problem is that here in the US the politicans are in the pocket of major
corporations. Some of the players in the tech industry might appreciate
being able to file patents for trivial ideas. Perhaps a potential strategy
is to not let those filing trivial patents get away with it.

-- Terje <terje at in-progress.com> | Media Design in*Progress

   Software for Mac Web Professionals at <http://www.in-progress.com>
   Take advantage of XML with Emile, the first XML editor for Mac!

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