Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Microsoft, the defender of IP rights

While this post adds nothing new, it is worth to keep repeating how hypocritical is Microsoft position to the protection of intellectual property rights. Now, its Associate General Counsel has started an open attack on Google relation with others' intellectual property rights, as if the Redmond company was some sort of saint in this business of respecting, or not, others' IP rights. It is important to note that the software giant main products are improvements over other people's ideas (Windows derived from Apple's graphical interface desktop environment, Word from WordStar and Word Perfect, Excel from Calc-sync and Lotus 1-2-3, and a long list of etceteras), which would have not been possible if software patents were around when Microsoft started its illustrious career and as Microsoft founder said "[i]f people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today." But once it got enough market share and money to hire attorneys, respecting IP rights and promoting software patents become some sort of holy task for Gates' company (well, unless to carry out the development of a new product needs to forget this for a while). Of course copyright is a different matter, but it seems that, again, the thrust is too use IP as a offensive weapon when the competitor has a better idea than its own, and on doing that Microsoft is really an innovator. Following Bill Gates' words "[e]stablished companies have an interest in excluding future competitors." Magister dixit...

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