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MS patents .NET!

It's a sad decision! Being Microsoft developer (well, I'm USING their technology, not WORKING for them) for years, I many time advocated their technology. But I also looked at MONO project, which holds the promise to bring .NET to other platforms (other than Microsoft). Now, that will be much harder und probably will mean more work for laywers than for programmers.

Here's the link:
http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1='20030028685'.PGNR.&OS=DN/20030028685&RS=DN/20030028685

Enjoy
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

No, they have not patented it, they have only applied for the patent.


Wednesday, February 12, 2003

OK, "they have only applied for the patent". But this decision alone is a sad one, isn't it? I understand they want to protect themselves and even if they don't do anything against other companies/individuals who are developing their .NET implementation, MS would (if the patent gets issued) still have that joker and could process against them [companies/individuals].

Enjoy
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

This wasn't totally unexpected.

Chi Lambda
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Just another misuse of the patent system in the US, its difficult to see how they can claim that its a novel idea. 

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

I thought patents were only for implementations, not concepts.
Is there any part of dotnet that is completely new, unheard of and never done before in another context?

Besides, since Mono is already quite far along proving prior art shouldnt be to difficult.

Eric DeBois
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

I haven't kept up on developments in patent law recently, but as of 1998, any patent application had to be made within one year of initial publication.

Which would make me wonder what the heck they're thinking by doing this - the patent application should've been filed two years ago - why now?

Philo

Philip Janus
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

You can't prove prior art using Mono considering it is based on .Net.

Ian Stallings
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

The patent application is an extension of previous patents applications (some of them failed).  It seems to rely on its novelty by describing how it manages multiple levels of namespaces.

Though this is hardly novel.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Could they get a patent on the CLR allowing multiple languages to compile to IL then compile at runtime to native code? Although Java does something similiar it does not allow multiple languages.

The patent office always semed like the big masonic temple in Alexandria VA to me. I am not sure what goes on behind those doors but I am pretty sure it could be classified as "shenanigans", lol.

Ian Stallings
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Let's not go completely off the deep end. That's slashdot's job.

Most likely, the patent application is simply a defensive move. Nobody can deny that Microsoft is betting their company on .NET. If they don't try to file for a patent on this stuff, SOMEBODY will, and then MS would be in the position of having to either fight the patent or pay licensing fees to somebody else.

Until and unless a lawsuit happens, I wouldn't worry too much about this.

Chris Tavares
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Microsoft may not always do The Right Thing, business-ethics-wise, but abusing the patent system is not something they have a history of doing.  They have a ton of patents, but from what I've seen they are only for defensive purposes.

George McBay
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Cool, if it succeeds.  It will kill .net developement for a lot of companies.  Looks like Dave Winer was right.  "Get in the trunk."

Note to self - learn java

Crusty Admin
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Crusty,

What makes you think Java is any safer than .NET?  Sun has plenty of patents.  And the language itself is not even standardized by a body like ISO, ECMA, etc.  This is just stupid FUD.

GiorgioG
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Hey I'm not a conspiracy nut, I think MS will do the right thing in this case because wide spread .net deployment works in their favor and validates their efforts.

But I still don't trust the masons.

Ian Stallings
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Ian,

It's a common mistake to think that "Java doesn't support other languages".

Have a look at this page:
http://grunge.cs.tu-berlin.de/~tolk/vmlanguages.html

The page lists a (large) number of languages that can be compiled to run on a Java Virtual Machine.

The difference between .NET and Java is that .NET sells itself as multi-language and Java sells itself as multi-platform.

Walter Rumsby
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

"What makes you think Java is any safer than .NET?  Sun has plenty of patents.  And the language itself is not even standardized by a body like ISO, ECMA, etc.  This is just stupid FUD."
        
ECMA -- ROTFL
ISO --Yes

Because I believe MS is going after the Amazon style patent. 

Crusty Admin
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

AOL patented IM , IBM patented a common sense Y2K fix, Amazon.com patented One Click Shopping (and used it against BN.com).

(http://www.google.com/keyword/aol+patented+im)
(http://www.google.com/keyword/ibm+patented+y2k+1938+2038)

Patenting doesn't nessecary means bad things. It just lets you control your work.

Hey, and everyone needs to follow YOUR standards.

Bob
Wednesday, February 12, 2003

The patenting of software is a misuse of the original reason for patents.  Only (so far as I'm aware), the US system allows the patenting of software since algorithms or methods are not patentable in the main.

Whether its a defensive application or not it is still a misuse, the solution is for the US Patent office to derogate all software patents it holds and not accept any further applications.

This of course won't happen.

Simon Lucy
Thursday, February 13, 2003

Actually, I was under the impression it was a defense  against IBM patents.

Patenting software is one big scam. Remember the famous BT patent on the hyperlink.

If you do business in America it's a nuisance because somebody with a sham patent can sub-poena you in some god-forsaken jurisdiction, and you find it's cheaper to pay him off than fight and win.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, February 15, 2003

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