.Net patent could stifle standards effort

Thanks castor_troyuk

Microsoft is in the process of applying for a wide-ranging patent that covers a variety of functions related to its .Net initiative.

If approved as is, the patent would cover application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow actions related to accessing the network, handling Extensible Markup Language (XML), and managing data from multiple sources. APIs are the hooks in software that allow applications to work with another system.

Microsoft declined to elaborate on its plans for the patent, but intellectual property attorneys said that if it's granted, the company could dictate how, or whether, developers of software and devices can link to the .Net initiative.

"It looks pretty broad," said Jeff E. Schwartz, a partner with McKenna Long & Aldridge. "It could be fairly significant."

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News source: C|Net

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