October 28, 2005

U.S. Patent System a mess

Here's another example of how screwed up the U.S. Patent System is, and how the U.S. Gov't is crippling innovation by (perhaps unwittingly) aiding in the extortion of unreasonable license fees from developers.

The latest example is a company which claims it owns an important aspect of XML.

Developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) between 1996 and 1998, XML has become the dominant way of describing and structuring data so that it can be shared across the Internet and displayed in any browser.

But now executives at Scientigo, a small software maker based in Charlotte, NC, say the company owns two U.S. patents (No. 5,842,213 and No. 6,393,426), that cover one of the fundamental concepts behind XML: the idea of packaging data in a self-defining format that allows it to be correctly displayed wherever it travels.

Posted by jackhodgson at October 28, 2005 12:28 PM