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From Tim Bray <tb...@textuality.com>
Subject Re: Proposal for addiction to the Sun XML Java API
Date Wed, 01 Dec 1999 05:03:03 GMT
At 04:55 PM 11/28/99 +0100, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
>Wong Kok Wai wrote:
>> Microsoft has a patent for CSS.
>It does not, since this cannot possibly being done 

Microsoft has a patent on the basic concept of rendering tagged text
using stylesheets.  It was idiotically issued at least two decades after
this was first done by someone else.  It was apparently issued to a bunch
of engineers working on the now-deceased "blackbird" technology that
was supposed, in 1994, to replace the Web.  The guys in the internet end
of MS claim they had no idea and I mostly believe them.  The US patent 
system is at this moment quite deeply diseased in the area of software.

E.g. Yahoo has a patent on the idea of publishing web pages by filling
templates out from an in-memory database.  No, I'm not kidding.

>You cannot patent an API. As you could not even patent the idea of
>having "stream of structured events" as parser output.
>Your fear of someone patenting an XML API is totally irrational.

Your comment is 100% wrong, but at the same time reasonable.  In
fact, it is generally recognized that the current state of the art
in US software patents is, to quote you, "totally irrational".  

Since the world is full of irrational manifestations, it is probably
in general better to check facts before pronouncing them impossible. -T.

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