I truly wonder how the US PTO can even grant US Patent 7,617,530 in the first place. It is not so much that Microsoft got the patent, but the fact that it was approved. Looks like the US PTO is 0wn3d by Microsoft!
Great article at Groklaw on this. Please, someone, anyone, do something to fix the US PTO.
[sballmer@M]$ make sudo [sballmer@M]$ make patent [sballmer@M]$ sudo make install DESTDIR=/us/pto
[courtesy of Demosthenes T. Mateo Jr.]
Apparently, it is similar to PolicyKit
Following topic on LWN (http://lwn.net/Articles/361420/), it seems to concern PolicyKit rather than sudo.
place your bets on Bilski v Kappos
Well the PTO is understaffed and clueless against armies of patent lawyers, so it needs a well-aimed kick to the… er… briefs to see the light. And one just might be heading their way.
Groklaw itself and lots of other sites have commentary on Bilski v Kappos which was argued before the US Supreme Court this week. Since many organisations filed briefs with the court urging the prohibition of software patents, the justices spent time forcing the patent holder’s lawyer to defend more and more ludicrous positions. It was fun to read, e.g.
“>> Court: And your view would be — and it’s new, too, and it’s useful, made him a fortune — anything that helps any businessman succeed is patentable because we reduce it to a number of steps, explain it in general terms, file our application, granted?
> Bilski: It is potentially patentable, yes.
>> Court: Okay. Well then, if that were so, we go back to the original purpose of the Constitution. Do you think that the framers [of the Constitution] would have wanted to require anyone successful in this great, vast, new continent because he thinks of something new to have had to run to Washington and to force any possible competitor to do a search and then stop the wheels of progress unless they get permission? Is that a plausible view of the patent clause?”
Even thought Bilski is about business method patents and not software patents, the impression given was that the justices are ready to limit patentability to reduce its harmful effects. Also, they are much more clued up about the harms of software patents than the lawyers, so they might end up overturning those abominations in this case. And that’ll be good, because we have imported US of A copyright and patent law under our great free trade agreement with them, so the precedent should be valid too (kawanku kawanmu, undangmu undangku). Well, one can dream…