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From Howard Chu <>
Subject Re: [OT]Einstein was right ...
Date Thu, 29 May 2008 01:50:49 GMT
Emmanuel Lecharny wrote:
> Howard Chu wrote:
>> I don't
>> believe in software patents though; this is all pretty stupid.
> This was my point.


>> The second patent is essentially one step beyond syncrepl and other
>> similar replication mechanisms that have existed for many years. We've
>> had partial and fractional replication for ages. The difference that I
>> see here is that he's using query containment to decide to return a
>> referral to the master server, when a searched-for entry isn't present
>> in the replica. In our current implementations, if you ran such a
>> query against a partial replica, you'd just get no result back for the
>> missing entries. As patents go, it follows the standard formula - add
>> one step to an existing well known process and presto, you've invented
>> something new. Whether it's actually useful or not is a different
>> question - IMO, anything that relies on LDAP referrals is
>> fundamentally flawed anyway.
> Thanks for the insight Howard !

I would expect the above patent to fail the obviousness test, if nothing else. 
Or perhaps I should now file a new patent on all of the above, adding in the 
use of chaining instead of returning a referral back to the client, since 
that's always my preferred method for distributed operation. Given the crap 
that gets granted these days, it would probably fly too.
> I have some friends working in big telco companies, and they told me
> that their boni was partly based on the number of patents they register.
> This clearly leads to a ridiculous patent race.

Yep. Same in a lot of places; same when I worked at Locus and PLATINUM. 
Somewhat the same at JPL, though as a government employee we couldn't actually 
get patents. But we still got bonuses for publishing inventions...
> We see the very same thing happening in the research area : if you don't
> publish, you don't exist. Thanks god, Ig Nobel has been created to grant
> the most stupid research papers... (have a look at this paper :
> Top of page 2 is simply hilarious :)

Sigh. Our tax dollars at work...

   -- Howard Chu
   CTO, Symas Corp. 
   Director, Highland Sun
   Chief Architect, OpenLDAP

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