Microsoft Files For Two RSS Patents

At first I was going to ignore this one, but the more I read, the less it seems like this is a defensive maneuver. Via CNet

Microsoft has filed for two patents covering technology used to organize and read syndicated Web feeds, such as those delivered via the widely used Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, family of formats.

If granted, one proposed patent would cover “finding and consuming Web subscriptions in a Web browser.” The invention, for example, could allow a user to “subscribe to a particular Web feed, be provided with a user interface that contains distinct indicia to identify new feeds, and…efficiently consume or read RSS feeds using both an RSS reader and a Web browser.”

The news of the patent application seemed to anger Dave Winer who responded to the announcement at Scripting News. The debate now rages about whether this is a defensive patent. See Techdirt’s Because The Patent System Sucks, The Only Thing To Do Is File For More Bad Patents.

Winer makes the mistake of asserting that Microsoft has been granted two patents instead of applying for patents but what is clear is that Microsoft had nothing to do with RSS nor did they invent the first RSS feed reader.

If the patent process is broken, companies like Microsoft are in the position to help fix the problem, not simply exacerbate the issue.


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