Tuesday, November 16, 2004

E-pass patent absurdities continue

E-pass defeats HP, MS' case dismissal demand | The Register.

I don't normally bother my pretty little head about hardware patents, but the rulings in this case demonstrate just how lethal the inherent ambiguity of patent protection can be in general, not just in the case of software patents.

How was Palm to know that a PDA could be defined as a "multifunction electronic card" for the purpose of patent enforcement? What are the implications of such creative interpretations for any software developer who hopes to claim and retain ownership of the code they have in fact developed?

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