Monday, November 03, 2003

Pinched from Fusion Reaction:

Web Patent Critics Spotlight Old Technology

If Web technologists can find the right example, they believe they can help set aside a federal jury's recent finding that Microsoft had violated a patent held by tiny Web developer Eolas Technologies. The so-called '906 patent describes a way that a Web browser can call up a separate application from within a Web page.

I'm obviously coming late to the game here, but if the crux of the matter is having a web browser communicate with a separate application from within a web page, well, software applications do that all the time.

Experienced users can write batchfiles to *effectively* *merge* the usage of more than one application into a seamless user experience. This idea easily predates web browsers. The resulting interface masks the fact that multiple applications were involved in presenting data, which is rather the point of having it. Why is the fact that a web browser might do it patentable?

Isn't it an obvious extension of browser usage to permit a web browser to call up a separate application from within a web page? Other applications do it all the time, it's practically human nature to simply our interfaces.

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