The technical world in which we actually work is relatively free of contest and struggle: you don’t have to arm-wrestle anyone to load up your copy of Word or argue for the right to check your email (though our partners — no, the other kind — if we have them, might prove me wrong). But beneath this serene “desktop” there’s continual conflict.
Most of us use RSS, at least I hope so, given Slaw’s role among tech leaders in law. We don’t think or care about who owns it; likely we don’t even formulate the thought that way: who could “own” something like RSS anyway. It seems, however, that yesterday Microsoft applied for a U.S. patent on RSS technology, claiming that their people invented it. There’s a decent discussion of the fuss it has (and hasn’t) created over at ZDNet’s Between the Lines.
There isn’t much “up-in-arms-ing” yet in the blogosphere, maybe because everyone’s suffering from patent-shock fatigue. Think back to the alarm that there was when the ubiquitous GIF graphic format was discovered to belong to Unisys