[ Thanks to Steven J.
Vaughan-Nichols for this link. ]
“Oracle may regret that approach. Gosling himself has said that
many of Sun’s patents were jokes. Gosling wrote, on August 15th,
2010, ‘In Sun’s early history, we didn’t think much of patents.
While there’s a kernel of good sense in the reasoning for patents,
the system itself has gotten goofy. Sun didn’t file many patents
initially. But then we got sued by IBM for violating the ‘RISC
patent’ – a patent that essentially said “if you make something
simpler, it’ll go faster’. Seemed like a blindingly obvious notion
that shouldn’t have been patentable, but we got sued, and lost. The
penalty was huge. Nearly put us out of business. We survived, but
to help protect us from future suits we went on a patenting binge.
Even though we had a basic distaste for patents, the game is what
it is, and patents are essential in modern corporations, if only as
a defensive measure. There was even an unofficial competition to
see who could get the goofiest patent through the system. My entry
wasn’t nearly the goofiest.'”