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by Franki

Ok, Hell is a frozen wasteland, and a swarm of pigs just flew past. I’ve just found myself sympathising with Microsoft.

Microsoft and Apple have just been sued for patent infringement by a company called BTG Plc who apparently are classed as an “intellectual-property company” (which if they are like others, means they have no actual business as such, and make their money by patenting vague ideas and then suing companies for $$$.)

The main patent in question is this one, and the summary of it is ” Method and system for distributing updates by presenting directory of software available for user installation that is not already installed on user station “.


In other words, Microsoft and Apple are being sued because of their update sites, (like Windows Update).

BTG might have a hard time getting anything out of this though, they filed the patent in 2000, it got approved in 2003, and I can think of about a dozen pre-dating systems that might just be considered as “prior art” possibly including Windows update for Windows 95/98, I can also think of some old Linux apps that fall into the same category.

My sympathy for Microsoft isn’t unlimited though, after all, they are collecting patents at an alarming rate for presumably the same reason (like their recent patent on double clicking and their other recent patent on the ancient FAT file system which is already under review.), so it probably won’t be long till they are doing it to other people and companies. Who knows, perhaps a reminder of what its like to get sued for stupid ideas that are so vague that they can describe nearly anything, might actually deter them from doing it to anyone else. (Don’t hold your breath though.)

Did anyone actually need yet more proof of how broken the patent system in the United States really is?
Eweek has the full story. TheRegister has also covered it.

regards

Franki








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  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   October 22, 2017, 5:13 pm
  Time in Franki's part of the world is:   October 23, 2017, 6:13 am
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