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Microsoft claims it invented RSS

All your web feeds are belong to Vole
Wed Dec 27 2006, 07:47
SOFTWARE FIRM Microsoft has applied for a patent which claims it invented RSS.

The applications concern subscribing and discovering "Web feeds." As this bog notes the news that Vole might have invented RSS will come as a bit of a shock as the format was developed seven years ago at Netscape.

Writing in his bog bog, Don Dodge, who runs Vole's Microsoft Emerging Business Team, has told everyone not to panic.

The filings were made to defend the company against "patent trolls" after the outfit installed it into Vista. He said that Vole had no intention of enforcing this patent against anyone, and no intention of collecting royalties on it.

Dodge added that Microsoft was not pretending that it invented RSS but just protecting itself against potential patent infringement lawsuits from "shell companies" and "patent trolls" who do nothing but sue big companies.

There is a small matter of what sort of world we would have if Vole actually won its patent. Microsoft would have a legal cudgel to shut down every outfit using RSS, which it admits that it never invented.

Of course this is not going to happen. The Patent Office is fairly likely to rule that the fact that people have been using non-Volish RSS for the last eight years constitutes a fair slab of prior art and reject the claim.

But we would have thought that rather than protecting against Patent Trolls, like Don claims, Vole's actions are going to create even more legal woes for Microsoft as people fight against the software giant's strange patent claim.

More here. µ


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