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Computerworld: Sun Exec: Open-Source is Irrelevant

Sep 15, 2003, 18:00 (25 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Schwartz)

[ Thanks to Jason Greenwood for this link. ]

"Last weekend, I went to go look up a patent filing at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). It was a really engaging experience--it's a fascinating site, with filings dating back to 1790. Just for yuks, I decided to explore what it takes to file a patent. I was in for a rude surprise: The site, and the PTO, demand that all online patent applications be submitted using Microsoft Word.

"Now, why is that a problem?

"Well, it's a problem because my company doesn't use Microsoft products. Nor can most people afford them. And if you don't have a copy of Word, does that mean you have to pay Microsoft for the privilege of submitting a patent application? To protect your own intellectual property? And the government has mandated that? Something must be wrong here..."

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