LinuxWorld: So, Could Microsoft Ever “Own” XML?

“At LinuxWorld we speculated whether this was ‘either a
preemptive move against IBM’s plan to migrate to Linux on the
desktop, a direct challenge to software vendors who want to
interoperate with Word through XML, or just a more general
confirmation that it is worried about Open Source.’ While the XML
standard itself remains royalty free, Microsoft seemed intent, we
noted, on seeking patent protection for as many specific software
implementations that incorporate elements of XML as it could.

“But now comes the news that, right here in the United States,
Microsoft has been granted US patent 6,687,897–filed as long ago
as December 2000, it should be noted–for ‘XML script automation.’
In other words, it involves ‘systems, methods and data structures
for encompassing scripts written in one or more scripting languages
in a single file.’

“‘This does not, in any way, change the royalty-free nature of
the XML standard itself,’ a spokesman for the Redmond software
giant said yesterday…”


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