Friday, November 3rd, 2006
In yet another example of “Man we need to revamp the patent office and get a process that has a clue” Brent Ashley has pointed out the Patently Obvious:
Douglas Crockford points out at the top of his blog that a patent was applied for in 2001 and awarded late last year covering using the <script> tag as a remote scripting transport.
Numerous people have “discovered” and exploited the value in using the script tag to get code and data on the fly since that time. It’s an obvious logical use of the functionality for which it was designed.
Of course, once a patent is granted, arguments about obviousness or originality can fall on deaf ears – the patent owner has the upper hand and it could cost you a lot to prove your case in court.
Beyond the obviousness, inspection of both the client and server side code for the patent reveals that most of it is copied directly from my JSRS library, published a year earlier, not only without attribution, but claiming it as their own “NetGratus Remote Scripting”.
Itâ€™s rather ironic that the appearance of this patent will have had exactly the opposite effect that a patent should: Rather than the patent informing the world about a hitherto unknown invention, explaining its workings and contributing to the furtherance of knowledge, the patent in this case informs the masses of people who came up with the same obvious idea that they had better stop using this technique in order to reduce their liability regarding the injunctive power of the patent holder.
Posted by Dion Almaer at 4:27 am