The USPTO needs an enima!
If you haven’t caught wind of this, Mr. Chief Muckety Muck Steve Ballmer (of, yes, of course… Microsoft) has thrown the gauntlet down saying, “Fair is fair.” with respect to defense of intellectual property. What’s at question is the degree of infringing free and open source software projects (Apache, Linux, etc) have tread on Microsofts patents. Good question! And, Microsoft is well within their right to challenge these things under current IP law. Thing is… MSFT just rolled into town with a bazillion J School grads all posturing to do what!? Sue Apache of Linux or MySQL into oblivion!? Nah, they just want royalties… But, to the tune of what? A gazillion dollars (pinky perched at edge of mouth). In the course of which all those FREE and “open source” projects will probably cease to be “free” and “open” source.
C’mon Ballmer! That’s lame (even if you have grounds). It’s a lousy, heavy handed tactic that will piss a LOT of us off. Drive us further away from your precious patented solutions and seek out other “do no evil” solutions. It’s a lot more fun when you stomp around and throw chairs and stuff. This is bad form (even for you)!
I hope and pray this makes it all the way to the Supreme Court and something good (and immensely foul) happens to the USPTO. They’re royally fouling the whole works. I’m not pointing fingers at MSFT at all. They’re technically in the clear. The USPTO on the other hand really needs that enima.