All your thoughts belong to us…
Sat, Nov 20 2004 11:55
Today I heard about the VB team applying for a patent on the IsNot operator. This has got to be one of the saddest days for intellectual property that I have encountered.
My first reaction was won’t that patent stifle 3rd party products such as SharpDevelop. And it really does raise an issue that goes beyond this single patent. Is VB purely Microsoft proprietary ? Why restrict the language from being universal ??
But this patent issue bugged me more than just that. I could feel it knawing at me inside. Something was terribly rotten with this patent. I could had sworn I had heard the community suggest this some time ago, but now MS was claiming it as their own.
Sure enough, a quick search of google newsgroups showed this being suggest as early as 1997. And there were many discussions of it in 2000 and 2001, all without Microsoft’s involvement. These were community discussions, yet now MS claims the idea, the patent, belongs to them ?