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RE: IBM patents tunneling HTTP through another protocal

From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <hallam@ai.mit.edu>
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 16:35:51 -0400
To: "David W. Morris" <dwm@xpasc.com>, http working group <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com>
Message-Id: <000c01bd90c1$879cccd0$01060606@goedel>


> On Fri, 5 Jun 1998, Jim Gettys wrote:
>
> > The idea, as I understand it, has been around for a long time.  Examples
> > 1 and 3 above apply most closely, that occur to me without much thought,
> > and long predate the patent application.
>
> But isn't it the building and describing of a 'machine' which receives the
> patent and not the concept or idea?

In theory yes, in practice no.

People inside the PTO tell me that since getting sued ten years ago they
have pretty much had a policy of eventually permitting any patent that
isn't a perpetual motion machine or an anti-gravity device.

They have realised that the more patents they grant the more inventive
the US congress believes the US people to be and hence the better satisfied
they are with the patent system as the cause of all this 'inventiveness'.
Also the more patents that are filed the more need other folk have for
patent collateral to be used in defence.

A guy recently got a 'patent' covering the PEM hierarchical trust system.
The examiner obviously didn't read (or understand) the documents referenced.

Folks may be interested to look at a current patent application by some
folks from OpenMarket. There is an international application which cites a
US patent application. By my reading these folks are claiming to have
invented Kerberos, Lotus Notes and the idea of a proxy gateway.


Needless to say I'm not impressed by such games. They cost real money
in legal fees, regardless of how vexatious the patent is. The best way
to develop a partner relationship is not to file a ridiculous patent
by a long chalk.


You don't have to be a patent attorney to realize that there is a lot
of serious malpractice going on.

	Phill
Received on Friday, 5 June 1998 13:40:10 EDT

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