Business Practices

Patents Offensive

bq.Microsoft has suffered another legal setback in the patent dispute with software developer Eolas and is now advising Web authors on workarounds, as new details emerge of its plans to tweak Internet Explorer. A federal judge last week rejected Microsoft’s post-trial claim that Eolas had misrepresented the facts in the patent case, which claimed the software giant had stolen browser technology relating to plug-ins. The ruling came after a $521 million verdict against the software giant last month, and ends Microsoft’s first attempt to challenge the result. Several more post-trial motions remain to be dispensed, and Microsoft doesn’t expect a final judgment in this round to be handed down until October or November. After that, Microsoft has 30 days to decide whether to appeal, which it has pledged to do. – “Paul Festa(IE patent endgame detailed)”:
bq.If the patent ruling stands, it will hurt web users, site owners and designers, and software companies (possibly ruining some of those companies) and will chill web development in untold ways. We find ourselves in the unaccustomed position of rooting for Microsoft. – “Jeffrey Zeldman(IE, Flash, and patents: here comes trouble)”:
bq.Unlike copyright, patents can block independent creations. Software patents can render software copyright useless. One copyrighted work can be covered by hundreds of patents of which the author doesn’t even know but for whose infringement he and his users can be sued. Some of these patents may be impossible to work around, because they are broad or because they are part of communication standards. – “FFII: Software Patents in Europe(Why all this fury about software patents?)”:
bq.Closed because of Software-Patents: On September 22nd, 2003 the European Parliament will decide about the legalisation and adoption of so-called “software patents” in Europe. Software Patents are already used by large companies in other countries (like the US) to put competitors out of business. This can lead to the termination of many software projects such as MRTG, at least within Europe. – “Tobias Oetiker(MRTG Homepage)”:
bq.The patent meltdown we’ve been warning about is coming home to Web designers. It’s virtually impossible to work with patent-holders like Eolas who don’t market products and don’t have customers, but we can hit other patent abusers in the pocket-book, and not let up until they use their power in Washington to change the law about software and business process patents. In other words, we are not powerless. – “Dave Winer(The patent meltdown)”:

By Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997.

Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident.

Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida.

He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995.

However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999.

In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.