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Best Approach To Keeping a Virtual World Protocol Free to All? 163

arkowitz writes "I invented a protocol called CICP for interacting with virtual worlds, and filed a provisional patent application on it March 20 of last year. I have since declared the protocol open and public, and contributed an implementation of it to the Sun Wonderland project, which is GPL; and made public the LSL code and accompanying Java servlet for the Second Life implementation of the protocol. I've been collaborating with a fellow in Finland named Tommi S. E. Laukkanen on a new protocol called MXP: Metaverse Exchange Protocol (here's a full description at MXP is and will always be public domain; we intend it to enable an open and ubiquitous metaverse. My question is this: is there any reason to complete the patent app for CICP, which could potentially cover MXP as well, and release it to the public domain? The full app is due by March 20 and the legal work would probably cost my company $10k. Would finishing the patent protect the open and public protocols from patent trolls, or would it be a waste of money? Also, what kind of document would I need to make official the public-domaining of the app?"

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.