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Will Microsoft's Patent Push Backfire?

Patents are great -- if you happen to own one. They are not so great if you are on the other side, being sued for infringement. In the world of technologies, these fights have gone on to give millions to lawyers and patent holders (probably a pretty even split).

Microsoft has a huge patent portfolio and are using this might to threaten Linux providers. In the case of i4i, the shoe is on the other foot as that company successfully sued Redmond for violating XML patents.

Microsoft is pushing this all the way to the Supreme Court and now argues that patents are TOO strictly enforced. It may win on this point, but if so, it devalues the hundreds and thousands of patents Microsoft owns.

Are software patents given too easily and enforced to rigorously, or do inventors deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labors? You tell me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/01/2010 at 1:18 PM


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Reader Comments:

Tue, Oct 5, 2010

Software patents are far too broad and unenforceable. This became obvious with the SCO suits against Linux and continues to this day. Basic functionality should not be a patentable entity.

Sun, Oct 3, 2010 Brian Fresno, CA

It'll be interesting to see how Microsoft will present the shoe being on the other foot vis-a-vis their patent infringement suit against Motorola. Their assertion that they are doing this in the interests of their customers and partners ain't playing well here. Heck, I'm not even sure that it will be in the interests of their shareholders especially in light of the i4i suit and any resolution that actually is in their favor on that suit.

Sat, Oct 2, 2010

Power corrupts and those that are corruptable seek out that power. This is why every law of man no matter how well conceived for good gets perverted into use for evil.

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