Re: About Microsoft Patent

Subject: Re: About Microsoft Patent
From: Tyler Baker <tyler@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 01:18:03 -0500
Paul Prescod wrote:

> Didier PH Martin wrote:
> >
> > Yep, this has, for sure implications to XSL with FO not as XSL as a
> > transformation language which is not covered by the patent. I guess this add
> > more weight to the actual thread about splitting XSL from the formatting
> > object stuff.
> I refuse to get my nighty in a knot about an unsupportable patent. Just
> because the monkeys in the patent office will approve anything doesn't
> mean that a judge will back them. Microsoft would also look pretty silly
> defending such a stupid pattent -- and losing.

Then why on earth, other than for the purpose of instilling fear and stifle
innovation in the XML/XSL Community would MS bother with the patent in the first
place.  Just another example of a large company using the US patent office for all
of the wrong reasons.

If MS took a small ISV to court, an ISV would spend its entire budget just
defending itself, even though the case may be thrown out eventually.  Plain and
simple this patent has the obvious intent of being a tool of fear.  On CNN/Fortune
Newstand (a US news program on the cable TV channel CNN on Wednesday nights at
10:00 PM EST) not long ago they talked about one of the most recent small ISV's to
get lawyered to death by Microsoft.

So the issue is, if you are a small ISV and you are thinking about releasing an
XSL Processor with "styling", you have to think twice about going up against an
entity with an unlimited legal budget to cream you with.  As everyone already
knows, any past judgements against MS, whether it be Stac or anyone else were
pyrhic victories.  In the end many of these companies died off after many years of
time and many millions of dollars playing legal twister with Microsoft.

Sorry to be such a pessimist Paul, but this seems to be just more of the same from


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