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Comment Re:The MS patent does not affect ODF. (Score 1) 146

you're missing the more significant reason why. Both independent claims have the following requirement:

wherein all of the text of the document is stored within text elements such that only the text of the document is contained between start text tags and end text tags; wherein there are no intervening tags between each of the start text tags and each of the corresponding end text tags

This means that document formats that use a HTML-like mixed content model to do their formatting aren't affected by the Microsoft patent, and that includes ODF.

That's a very good point; thank you for pointing this out! I've added a link to your comment at the bottom of my article under "Notes on feedback from readers".

Comment Re:The MS patent does not affect ODF. (Score 3, Interesting) 146

The submitted article cites the patent owner saying it doesn't apply to ODF. Why would I care what someone who says about himself, "I am not a lawyer, and specifically not a patent lawyer. I have never spent a lot of time on learning about the intricacies of patent law" has to say on the matter at this point? In fact, why would I care even what experienced patent lawyers have to say now? Hasn't it been definitively settled by i4i's statement?

What hasn't been settled by i4i's statement is the (IMO false) claim that the MS patent affects ODF more than the i4i patent does.

Comment Avoidance of upstream legal risk matters. (Score 3, Insightful) 146

It would not matter what a third party thinks as long as i4i thinks it is not infringing. Unlike trademarks, patents do not expire unless enforced. So i4i is within rights to sue Microsoft and not Sun.

From the perspective of a company which invests into integrating its business processes with the office software that it is using (that's the area of application where the kind of stuff that the patent talks about is relevant), it matters a lot whether you can base your work on ODF without having to fear that essential features (for your purposes) might get removed from future versions due to patent trouble.

Comment Re:Gold digging? (Score 5, Insightful) 146

yea, openoffice is free so there is little to no money in sueing them, but microsoft there is millions in there

Sun is distributing OpenOffice, and is legally liable for any patent infringement that would be involved. Pretty soon Oracle will be legally responsible. There is plenty of money there to be gotten by a patent infringement lawsuit, if there was a case to be made. But OpenOffice simply doesn't infringe any patents on OOXML's extension mechanisms simply because ODF doesn't have any such extension mechanisms.


Submission + - i4i Says OpenOffice Does Not Infringe Like MS Word (gcn.com) 2

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "With all the armchair lawyers and pundits out there, it's interesting to see that i4i believes that OpenOffice does not infringe upon their patent. As you may remember, i4i's patent is the one that lead to a permanent injunction barring Microsoft from selling, using, encouraging the use of, testing, marketing or supporting any copies of Microsoft Word which can open files containing custom XML, subject to a bit of leniency for supporting infringing copies already sold and with respect to removing the feature in future versions. Lest anyone think that the ODF will win over OOXML because of this, keep in mind that Microsoft has its own broad XML document patent, which issued just two weeks ago (and filed in December 2004), and they're telling the Supreme Court to apply the Bilski ruling narrowly, so that it doesn't invalidate patents like theirs (and i4i's). After all, Microsoft can afford $280 million infringement fines in ways that most companies and individuals cannot. Then again, given that Microsoft's new patent has only two independent claims (claim #1 and claim #12), and both of those claims 'comprise' something using an 'XML file format for documents associated with an application having a rich set of features', maybe they wouldn't be that hard to work around if you just make sure any otherwise infringing format is only associated with an application that doesn't have a rich set of features."

Submission + - Microsoft wants old date bugs back in ISO-OOXML (adaptux.com)

Adaptux writes: It looks like Microsoft is trying to reintroduce their old buggy "serial value" time and date format, which suffers for example from the infamous leap year bug, into the ISO/IEC standard for OOXML. The proposed "unfix" for this bug is slipped in well-hidden in the middle of a larger document of proposed corrigenda. Now the concerned mirror committees in the various national member bodies of ISO have time until October to decide to accept the proposed change or not.

Comment Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 2

We all know that MSXML is a proprietary format that only will work in Microsoft products, if in any products.

You may believe to "know" this, but some of us prefer facts about actual problems, which can be quoted e.g. to government decision-makers who will otherwise believe Microsoft's propaganda about OOXML.

Besides, this is good for a laugh, and an educational blunder, too. (Don't you agree that it's better to learn from the mistakes of others than to make the same mistakes yourselves first?)


Submission + - OhOhXML - the "standard" with a namespaces 2

An anonymous reader writes: One of the main benefits of using XML based data formats is that that XML files can automatically be validated against a schema. But of course this requires different versions of a schema to be differentiated by version numbers or different namespace names (for example by embedding a year number in the namespace name). The namespace names of OOXML have an embedded year number (2006) for this purpose. Now, when Microsoft submitted documentation of the file formats of "Office 2007" to ISO/IEC, they were not accepted as-is, but only with technical changes, including changes to the schemas. However the schema namespace names were not updated. This can lead to silent loss or corruption of data. The ISO/IEC working-group is pondering proposals for fixing the mess.

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