"The United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) has granted
Microsoft a pair of software patents, one that deals with software
compilation and another that addresses software editing.
"U.S. Patent number 6,836,883 is titled 'Method and system for
compiling multiple languages' and was first applied for by
Microsoft researchers on June 21, 2000...
"It also cites James Gosling (creator of the Java language) in
references about compilers, as well as a document produced by the
Free Software Foundation (FSF, purveyors of the GPL license) about
its the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC, arguably the most popular
compiler currently in use)..."