Boost logo

Boost :

From: JOAQUIN LOPEZ MU?Z (joaquin_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-02-06 18:16:06

----- Mensaje original -----
De: Robert Ramey <ramey_at_[hidden]>
Fecha: Domingo, Febrero 6, 2005 11:28 pm
Asunto: [boost] Microsoft XML serialization patent

> I just came upon an incredible thing.
> It seems that microsoft has filed a U.S. Patent Application for XML
> serialization. I'm sort of dumbfounded at this. Truth be told
> I've seen
> a lot of even more ridiculous patents but somehow this strikes
> closer to
> home. I'm really at a loss to appreciate the ramifcations of this
> - if any.

Hi Robert,

You shouldn't let this deprive you of your sleep :)
Fact is, the primary reason for big companies patenting
everything in sight is just the opposite than many people
may think: this is a legal way to protect themselves
from rogue firms trying to sue them. By being the first
in patenting something, a future contender won't have
the opportunity to file his own submission.
A patent becomes invalid if somebody proves that the
invention was in public use before submission of the
patent. In the crazy case MS decided to enforce this
serialization apparatus, one can easily claim that the
two key ideas (namely XML as a serialization language
and object tracking) were publicly used well before
Dec 2004. But as I said, I don't really think it is
MS' intention to go sue anybody.
On a related theme, it is sad that patent offices
all over the world will accept just everything submitted
to them --from what I've learned about these issues
in the past, the only requisite is that the submission is
written according to some funky rules: for instance,
in Spain you cannot patent an algorithm, but you can
embed the algorithm into some kind of hypotethical
physical apparatus and that will pass OK :)

Joaquín M López Muñoz
Telefónica, Investigación y Desarrollo

PS: Off-topic, what happened to that article of
yours relating the experiences of a Boost submitter?
I really wanted to read it.

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at