Man, oh, man — I can’t wait for this to hit Slashdot.
January 18, 2007 was apparently intellectual-property-a-go-go day for the USPTO: it brings us published patent applications from Microsoft (#20070016532 – Digital application operating according to aggregation of plurality of licenses) and IBM (#20070016531 – System, method and program product to determine resolution when software installed on a computer is not property licensed).
Applications for software patents, on software that’s essentially Digital Rights Management tools…mmmm, delicious. And to make it even sweeter, they’re coming from IBM (year after year the world’s most prolific patent filer) and Microsoft (a company that’s making a serious IP push, tentatively in the #18 slot for patent applications filed in 2005…up from #29 in 2004).
If only they had worked out a way to attach lawsuits against somebody’s 90 year old grandmother in Oklahoma to the applications, this could have been the Slashdotter’s nightmare of US intellectual property law. Oh, well. Maybe next time.