Microsoft Sued Over Windows, Office and SQL Products

James Taylor, a Texas inventor, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas against Microsoft, claiming that the software giant's Windows operating systems, Office applications, and SQL database technology violate his patent entitled "Post compile optimizer for linkable object code." The patent was awarded to Taylor in 1995 and describes "a system for processing a complete object code data set, to be linked into an executable program," according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. When reached at his home in Carrollton, Taylor, who filed the lawsuit without the aid of an attorney, declined to specify which aspects of Microsoft's products he believes violate his patent. He is seeking unspecified damages. Microsoft has yet to file a response in the case.

Microsoft has been lobbying for patent reforms that would make it more difficult for inventors to obtain patents on what the company believes are dubious or vaguely described innovations.

News source: InformationWeek

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Aw, but that would mean no one, including sleezy corporations and people trying to make a quick buck couldn't do it. :(

oh and btw "Taylor, who filed the lawsuit without the aid of an attorney"... well he's screwed now, you NEVER file a pattent lawsuit with out a pattent attorney on your side its just WAY to complex

neufuse said,
well he's screwed now, you NEVER file a pattent lawsuit with out a pattent attorney on your side its just WAY to complex

And Microsoft has probably more spare cash laying around for hiring some attorneys than he does... Poor guy... lol...

I think it's about linking object code into an executable file, which is what pretty much any larger software in the world does at this point (for example statically linked DLL files, i.e. DLL's merged into the EXE), so there ought to be tons of prior art on this one. He's suing MS because that's where money is. And if it's as usual, he probably has not developed a program that use the patent he filed, but only use it as a minefield to profit from.

Jugalator said,
I think it's about linking object code into an executable file, which is what pretty much any larger software in the world does at this point (for example statically linked DLL files, i.e. DLL's merged into the EXE), so there ought to be tons of prior art on this one.

How about .OVL / .OVR files that were used for DOS applications? I remember those from ten years before this blagger filed his stupid patent.

mrbester said,
How about .OVL / .OVR files that were used for DOS applications? I remember those from ten years before this blagger filed his stupid patent.

A good point, but overlay files were just 'DLLs for DOS'. Since they predate DLLs - that's a weird thing to say though. :)

This patent is around actually running the 'opimizaiton' phase of building software at link time instead of at compile time file-by-file.

Again - The guy may have made the patent before MS implemented it -but there is a ton of prior-art academic papers on doing it.

Does he actually have a product though, if it's not affecting his business, he can't really sue, but then again I don't live in America.

bucko said,
Does he actually have a product though, if it's not affecting his business, he can't really sue, but then again I don't live in America.

Not so. Patents can be obtained on concept alone. Just the mere scribblings on a napkin can be submitted for a patent. You don't need a working product to obtain a patent.

However, the lawyer part comes in to fully explain the process of the concept, down to the finest detail. Without an in depth explanation of the patented concept, there's always a way to get around the patent.

Does it? The GCC pdf spec for this kind of feature was only written in 2005 and is pretty much a direct rip off of the MS work. Post-processing optimization to go cross module means storing the parse trees away in pseudo-object code in a manner that kind of defeats what an object file was originally intended to be.

1995 he received it, 2007 he sues over it, probably wants some sort of royalty over each and every copy of Windows + Office + SQL Server sold. This is complete BS. Why people are allowed to profit off the hard work of others is beyond me, these things need time limits if they exist at all. Almost all of them came about when Microsoft was worth billions, if he sued back in 1996, he'd get next to nothing considering what he's potentially worth now.

I say Microsoft should sue the pants off these losers. On what grounds I don't know, but these morons only need some BS vague area that Microsoft has possibly infringed on to receive millions in extortion funds, maybe there's something they can extort back from them.

I'm going to venture a guess that the 'inventor' (pronounced lawyer) is in Marshall, TX. :P If I were a corporate attorney, the first thing I would do is ask for a different venue since there's obviously something wrong with that damned town... lol

Not the town - There's something wrong with the Marshall judge. For some reason he historically has sided with plaintiffs way more than any other judge in the United States. This is why patent holding companies love filing in his court since they are virtually guaranteed a win.

The article mentioned this patent troll filed in East Texas, so chances are, it's Marshall!

No they don't. See my comments above. LinkTime optimizers of object code were only available with Visual Studio.net and most other compilers are still catching up.

That said, research in the field has existed next to forever... until recently machines didn't have enough RAM to make implementation feasible.

These kind of people are a nuisance to many large scale ventures. For one person to claim that a single idea-or group of same-actually are the single driver behind such a large and diverse set of software apps is just nuts. People do similar things to movie industry execs. Just before a high priced movie hits the street, several people will sue a studio for 40-50,000 dollars. Basically a nuisance suit that studios would rather settle than to hace hanging over a film,
There is a scam artist born every 10 seconds. And a lawyer ever 9!

in 1997 i filed a patent describing the use of sarcasm, rage and incredulity in an online discussion group. pony up, freeloaders!

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