Microsoft, Word, i4i, XML

Microsoft ordered to stop selling Word... And basically most Office products and Visio and and and.

First personal reaction is shock ; second reaction is "oh wait, I4I ????" ; third reaction is "oooooh shit".

Just for the record, and that's something the CNet article does not mention, I4I acquired Grif's assets when it collapsed... Oh, and my old boss Jean Paoli (XML 1.0 co-editor) moved from Grif to Microsoft a while before that.

I4I filed the patent in july 1994, i.e. at a time the idea of a unified DOM and DOM api started percolating slowly into the SGML community. As a matter of fact, the patent is not about the Web but really about SGML. Please note USPTO took four years to validate the patent !!! Four years, that's more than a generation in our web wold. In 1994, the Web was still almost confidential. In 1998, the Web had already changed the world.

I am unfortunately not sure this patent fight is a patent troll. Patents on software are incredibly harmful, they are a too weak shield for innovators that use them and a burden on innovators that don't carry the patent. Let's compare codes, not ideas.


1. On Thursday 13 August 2009, 00:03 by Oxy(ded)moron

I4I, tooth for tooth

(si vous n'avez pas compris, prononcez à l'anglaise)