"British Telecom believes it owns a 14-year-old U.S. patent
for the World Wide Web's hyperlink technology and has hired an
intellectual property specialist to ensure it can commercialize the
patent, in court if necessary."
"If the find is upheld, BT could be given the go ahead to pursue
money from American ISPs -- a tactic it has already initiated. "It
is regrettable that we weren't involved in the Net from the ground
up," explains a spokesman. "What we are looking to do is charge
U.S. ISPs for using our intellectual property, that is fair."
"But British Telecom's vision of what is fair is bound to meet
with fierce resistance in the U.S., where Internet legislation is
increasingly frequent. "There is no doubt this will lead to a
massive battle in America," says Robin Bynoe, Net expert with
London law firm Charles Russell."
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