[unrev-II] Web Services Patent

From: Jack Park (jackpark@thinkalong.com)
Date: Tue Oct 16 2001 - 18:22:39 PDT

  • Next message: blincoln: "Fwd: Re: [unrev-II] Web Services Patent"



    "The patent in question is number 5,850,518, otherwise known simply as 518.
    It was filed on December 12, 1994, when the world wide web was just a wee
    bairn and Mosaic was still a primitive and before there was much in the way
    of prior art on such widgetry.
    According to the way the rules work, prior art would have to have been
    filed a year before Charlie filed and he's already claimed "interference"
    by some patents - a Sun one, for instance - that were filed after 518 - and
    he's won.
    The 518 patent, which was granted in bureaucratic time on December 14,
    1998, is called "Access Method Independent Exchange," which Charlie says
    means it separates physical connectivity from logical connectivity. It's
    all about the automated discovery and connection of web services though the
    word "web" was never used in the filing since the web didn't exist then
    outside of research circles but 518 describes how to connect to a service
    using TCP/IP so it doesn't matter; it anticipates web services.
    The thing is huge and so rife with implications it makes Charlie look like
    a visitor from the future. The average IBM patent - and IBM's patent
    library is legendary - runs 20 pages and makes 20 claims. Charlie's runs
    144 pages and details an entire system, not just one particular piece of
    mojah. Charlie definitely gets an A+ in thoroughness.
    So what does it mean? Well, for starters, its existence could compromise,
    oh, say, Windows XP (now wouldn't those rabid states attorneys general like
    to know that), Windows 98 - it does automatic software upgrades - and
    possibly all those connections browsers make. "

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