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Science Magazine: Internet Patents Choking the Web?

Jun 03, 1999, 12:51 (4 Talkback[s])

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"Every day on average last year, the U.S. government issued nearly 50 patents on Internet tools and other software. But this apparent blitz of creativity may belie a big problem: Many of these inventions, some critics charge, aren't original enough to have warranted a patent and could hinder the Internet's growth by blocking free, unpatented standards.

"The latest dustup is over a patent awarded last January to Seattle-based Intermind, for its software to help Web surfers track how sites they visit use their personal data. The company claims on its Web site... that its patent may be infringed by an "open-source," or freely shared, privacy protocol developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an industry and academic group that comes up with standards like HTML, the language for writing Web pages."

Complete story. (Free site registration required. Link takes you to 'NetWatch'. Scroll down to find story.)