"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
"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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