Some of you may have seen the recent hubbub related to Microsoft and BlueJ. If you haven't you can get up to speed from articles such as Microsoft copies BlueJ, admits it, then patents it. An update to this story was posted by Dan Fernandez in his blog post entitled Update: Response to BlueJ Patent Issues where he wrote

On Friday, an alert reader emailed me about a new article by Michael Kölling, the creator of BlueJ, about a patent issued by Microsoft for features in Object Test Bench that are comparable to BlueJ's Object Bench. I'll post the full "anatomy of a firedrill" some time later, but for now we can officially say that the patent application was a mistake and one that should not have happened. To fix this, Microsoft will be removing the patent application in question. Our sincere apologies to Michael Kölling and the BlueJ community.

I'm glad this has been handled so quickly. I hope the news of Microsoft withdrawing the patent application spreads as fast and as far as the initial outrage at the news of the patent application being filed. 


Monday, 29 January 2007 19:22:27 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I think it is great that Microsoft has corrected its mistake so quickly. However, the larger questions this incident raises about the patent system and Microsoft's role therein still remain unanswered:

* How many other patents like this has Microsoft already been granted? How many more patents like this are currently in the pipeline at Microsoft?
* How will Microsoft make sure this doesn't happen again in the future?
* Does Microsoft's philosophy around things like "embrace, extend, and extinguish" and "integrated innovation" play a role in things like this happening?
* Do patent filing bonuses encourage this type of behavior from engineers and their managers? If so, what should be done about it?
* Will the engineer and his manager(s) be held accountable for this patent filing?

Monday, 29 January 2007 21:48:55 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Hopefully this means that Michael Kölling will get proper and prominent attribution in VS in connection with OTB.
Peter Stricker
Tuesday, 30 January 2007 06:34:06 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Whoa. I saw that headline in my RSS reader, but assumed the story was a load of rubbish till I saw it here.
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 03:19:32 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Questions like Andrews (and elsewhere on the web about this issue) make it clear that most developers don't understand the patent system and legal process, and how the system forces companies to file for patents defensively. Dare, maybe you could get someone at Microsoft who understands the whole process to write about it and post let you post it to your blog?
Sunday, 11 February 2007 09:50:31 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
we are happy that Microsoft pays attention to its users.We're sure you'll make the legal process more appropriate for the efficient users.You have enough number of stuff to handle problems that may appear.
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