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Re: Microsoft patent on typing Webdav properties

From: Eric Sedlar <eric.sedlar@oracle.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 00:02:40 -0800
Message-ID: <08c501c2d8b6$70dfae30$9b114498@esedlar>
To: "Chris Knight" <Christopher.D.Knight@nasa.gov>, "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@apache.org>
Cc: <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>

The reason companies like Microsoft patent this kind of crap is as a
defensive measure--I don't think Microsoft typically uses these patents
offensively.  This is the same with IBM and Oracle as well.  Lots of random
crap gets patented, so if IBM (who started the patents war and has more
software patents on stupid stuff than any other company) were to come after
Microsoft, for example, Microsoft would come back with probably 20,000
patents that IBM has infringed and drown the problem in litigation (and vice

The value of that Microsoft patent is that demonstrating prior art on that
one patent would probably be half a million in litigation costs to
invalidate it.

These obvious patents are like nukes--the big players are afraid of the
consequences of launching them, and they don't use them.  The only people
who use this stuff are the little players who have not much in the way of
actual software product revenue, with no target for the big players to
retaliate against--kind of like terrorists with nukes.  That's why all of
the trouble is caused by random little startups with no products suing
everyone for patents on the likes of downloading music over the Internet.

I'd bet that you could get Microsoft to make the patent available at no cost
to implementors of WebDAV if the issue were raised.  If we actually wanted
to use the Translate header, for example, it would clearly be in MSFT's
interest to make the patent available freely.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Knight" <Christopher.D.Knight@nasa.gov>
To: "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@apache.org>
Cc: <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 4:24 PM
Subject: Re: Microsoft patent on typing Webdav properties

> Roy T. Fielding wrote:
> > Will someone please go over and slap Alex Hopmann for placing his
> > name on something as stupid as US patent 6,356,907
> >
> > http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-
> > Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/search-
> > adv.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&S1=6,356,907.WKU.&OS=pn/6,356,907&RS=PN/
> > 6,356,907
> I assume there is prior art to these? It's a shame that it got through
> the patent review process. (Not a suprise, however.)
Received on Thursday, 20 February 2003 03:07:43 UTC

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