Home > Computers and Internet > Re: Dr. Dobb’s | Microsoft Seeks RSS Patents; Blogosphere Worries | December 22, 2006

Re: Dr. Dobb’s | Microsoft Seeks RSS Patents; Blogosphere Worries | December 22, 2006

31-Dec-06 01:11 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

This story (link below) is of some concern (or at least oughtta be) to all Internet users.  It seems someone’s trying, or rather has patented, RSS!  For those who don’t know, RSS is the technology responsible for presenting "Feeds" in Internet Explorer 7 or extending subscriptions to PodCasts.  Patenting the technology means that Microsoft would, essentially, own RSS technology and could collect royalties or leverage that ownership in other ways – in ways not available to competitors.

Link to Dr. Dobb’s | Microsoft Seeks RSS Patents; Blogosphere Worries | December 22, 2006

What bothers me about this kind of story is the fact that US patent law even allows this sort of thing in the first place.  In publishing a book, it’s the author who automatically holds ownership rights until a specified time period (I’ve heard the number 50 years?) has passed.  Although I’ve studied law a little (enogh to know I should add the fact I’m not a lawyer to this statement), I can’t comprehend why it oughtta work any differently for invented technologies.  In the case of RSS, it would make more sense to me that a standards body would own the technology for some amount of time, after which the technology would be, more or less, as with literature, in the public domain or treated similarly.

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Terry Glavin

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