[kwlug-disc] Frivolous patents

Raul Suarez rarsa at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 13 15:10:27 EDT 2009

>From: "john at netdirect.ca" <john at netdirect.ca>
>Still expect Microsoft to lock customers in, screw the small developer (
>) and manipulate standards (

I don't know if that's a good example. I see that more as an example of the flawed patent system.

How could they patent a "Method to author XML documents in Word" ?

I've read a lot of comments and most people are confused thinking that
the patent refers to the format used to represent the document ( .DOCX
or DOCM) when in reality it refers to the content of the document.

I understand that lay people may get confused but next time you want to
take a Gartner report seriously just read the quote from analyst Brian
Prentice regarding the risk for ODF. How can it affect ODF?. ODF is not
the editor. You cannot use ODF to edit an XML file. It may affect
OpenOffice.org but only if it came "out of the box" with the
functionality to edit XML files in the way described in the patent.

To me this patent is frivolous.

It's like someone inventing the bicycle and someone else patenting
riding it to the store and then suing the bicycle inventor when he uses
the bicycle to go to the store.

What's next? someone patenting writing letters to the editor in Word? Ridiculous.

Raul Suarez

Technology consultant
Software, Hardware and Practices
An eclectic collection of random thoughts

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