An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has just received a little-known patent for a "Stealthy audio watermarking," which is seemingly uncrackable, since it uses spread-spectrum technology to hide its traces within music files. As the patent's abstract explains it: "The watermark identifies the content producer, providing a signature that is embedded in the audio signal and cannot be removed. The watermark is designed to survive all typical kinds of processing and malicious attacks." True, watermarking is not the same as file encrpyption. However, an end-to-end music system could use watermarking to verify ownership. Does this mean it might be time to revise the DRM scorecard?
An anonymous reader writes: Is there a strategy for software startups wanting to make it big with a product in this world of software patents? Particularly, how can a software startup wishing to take its product to the international market hope to compete with the large software companies and their armada of patents? No matter whether or not the startup has an innovative product, a patent or two, a little or a lot of funds, it seems that if the large software companies decide that they wish to crush them with law-suits regarding patent infringement, valid or invalid, they can tie them up long enough in court to drive them out of business (bankruptcy or cause them to lose any market lead they may have had). Can anyone suggest a strategy, or pointers to discussion(s) of a strategy (or strategies), for a new software company to grow (around a product) and itself become one of the large software companies (hopefully not then playing the same game)? Or are those days over — and the current crop of software companies are so well entrenched (thanks to the patent system) that there is no hope for a startup?