Time for Software Patent Reform?

Standard

I saw the news that Mircosoft is suing Salesforce.com for patent infringement.  My first thought…..

my status

And then I started to read the suit:

Count #1

Microsoft is the owner of all right, title, and interest in U.S. Patent No. 7,251,653 (“the ’653 patent”), entitled “Method and system for mapping between logical data and physical data,”

Count #2

Microsoft is the owner of all right, title, and interest in U.S. Patent No. 5,742,768 (“the ’768 patent”), entitled “System and method for providing and displaying a web page having an embedded menu,”

Count #3

Microsoft is the owner of all right, title, and interest in U.S. Patent No. 5,644,737 (“the ’737 patent”), entitled “Method and system for stacking toolbars in a computer display,”

Count #5

Microsoft is the owner of all right, title, and interest in U.S. Patent No. 6,122,558 (“the ’558 patent”), entitled “Aggregation of system settings into objects,”

Count #6

Microsoft is the owner of all right, title, and interest in U.S. Patent No. 6,542,164 (“the ’164 patent”), entitled “Timing and velocity control for displaying graphical information,”

Kudos for Microsoft’s legal team to secure patents for the “timing and velocity of displaying graphical information,” “method of mapping logical data into physical data,” “stacking toolbars,” and “embedded menus.”  But something is seriously wrong if these ideas are patentable.  Since Microsoft has patents for many of the key principles of software design, they can bully any organization that is competing with them, has annoyed them or they don’t like.  Unfortunately, these patents aren’t expiring anytime soon.

Technology companies should be able to protect their intellectual property, but allowing patents for obvious “innovations” like “using one button for GUI navigation on a small screen**” is a bit ridiculous.

** considering this innovation was patented in 1997, and available on Nintendo 10 years earlier….I am not sure why this is “unique.”

I think it is time to get with the program, and redo the patent rules.

Advertisements

One thought on “Time for Software Patent Reform?

  1. When it comes to software the patent system has been broken for a long time. The USPTO has been allowing software companies to patent ideas and concepts, treating them like inventions. I seriously wonder just how competent the clerks at USPTO are when patents like these get through. The system is broken and in desperate need of reform.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s