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ZDNET: BT claims a patent on hyperlinks

Jun 20, 2000, 17:34 (18 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Barry)

[ Thanks to James Derry for this link. ]

"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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