[MUD-Dev] [BIZ][TECH] worlds.com gets patent

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Fri Apr 27 00:29:29 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Thu 26 Apr, Travis Nixon wrote:

> Sorry for this completely off topic post, but can I just say that I
> abhor software patents?  And that it totally amazes me that somebody
> can write somethign like this:
 
>         The Company believes the patent may apply to
>         currently, in use, multi-user games, e-Commerce,
>         web design, advertising and entertainment areas
>         of the Internet.
 
> and STILL not freaking figure out that probably means there was
> "prior art"?

The problem, as I understand it, is that obtaining a patent is much
cheaper than successfully fighting it, even if the case for the ex-
istence of prior art is overwhelming.  In other words if company X has
a patent that, by liberal application of fantasy, would include any
program that uses the enter button to indicate acceptance of an input
it could charge 100 dollars for every program that uses this feature.
Fighting that patent would cost at least 100.000 dollars, so most
companies simply pay, having no alternative.  Big companies on the
other hand have a patent that could be applied to the use of the
escape key to cancel input, so they simply swap fees without any money
changing hands.


Marian
--
Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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