"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Late To The Table Again


The evidence this time has caused Microsoft to withdraw the patent over the last few days. The BlueJ Java people, who already credited Smalltalk, had been in recent contact with Microsoft prior to the application and were very upset about the patent application. Bad press was visibly having a negative affect.

Would that it were this way with the less direct instances of prior art. No kudos to Microsoft here -- this is a case of one's back to the wall and the spotlight shining down from the police helicopter -- you're about to be on a reality show.


James Robertson writes about another Microsoft patent application in the 21st century that consists of prior art from the 1990s if not earlier.

Here are some other candidates for prior art from what I can tell. (I can only read so much about Visual Studio and then I begin to lose my lunch.)

Maybe someone more at peace with Visual Studio can say whether these diagrams resemble what has been patented. (I am sure the newer tools have much more suckage.)

Diagramming Debugger

Object Explorer

Semantic Agnostics?

There's a comment over on James' blog stating a key part of the Microsoft patent may be it's "language semantics agnostic". Get over it. All the languages that can participate in this diagrammer have to share the dotnet object model and enough of the dotnet runtime to get the bits to the display. If that's not "semantics" then what is it? Well, it's actually pretty *bad* semantics to make all these languages use the same (pretty awful) object model.

Fighting The Good Fight

Fuzzy has a good idea: a site for bad software patents with the details, prior art, etc.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.