Why you dissing on i4i???
by Chappy1 - 8/12/09 9:30 PM
I have to say that I wasn't impressed with your dissing of Louden Owen from I4I after he made a pretty strong argument for why his company sued Microsoft for infringing their patent of the custom XML implementation in Word. I think you guys have done so many lame stories on ridiculous patents and slimy patent squaters that you hate all things patent law and missed an example of where patent law actually works! Why didn't you just challenge him about them they just wanting a cheque and give him an opportunity to respond, instead of being jerky about it and complaining as soon as he's off the line?
Molly - you are surprised that they are looking for a cheque? Of course they are, that's what patents are supposed to do - protect the intellectual property that enables a company to financially benefit from something that it invents. That's what patents do. That's not the same as patent squaters who hold patents that they don't implement in some meaninful way (for instance, the "I invented podcasting" patent from the other day) and then sue when they can maximize their return.
I have no connection with I4I but I have worked in environments where their technology is used. This is a *real* company that has done a lot of *real* work to innovate in the standard's based world of XML and previously SGML. I think you guys were so intent on dissing him as soon as he was off the line that you missed what he said - the custom XML implementation that they developed and patented is what Microsoft infringed on, not the XML standard. He even used a clear example - english is a language but a technology that implements some new shiny way of dealing with english the language should be protected by a patent to ensure that you have every opportunity to financially benefit exclusively from that invention.
Why are you surpised that they only went after Microsoft? By Microsoft implementing their custom XML "invention", they are posing a major risk to the financial success of I4I in the ***SAME MARKETs*** that I4I operate in. Why would I use an I4I product or technology when I can just implement it in Word, which *everyone* in business has deployed, it seems. Why should Microsoft financially benefit from intellectual property that someone else depends on for their own success? I say, pay up Microsoft!
Why would I4I waste time and money going after everyone that infringes? Go after the 800 pound gorilla first, and if you win, you can then pick off others when you wish.
I'd be interested in what the patent laywer BoLers have to say about this.
--Vic, the network systems engineer.