I know, I know, not exactly news. There are plenty of people out there who think they are already are a troll. Me? I don’t think they’re a troll so much as they are a bully, but one little sentence in this article gives me pause:
Apart from the novelty, it’s not clear why anyone would use such a service. There’s no indication that the company plans to bring anything like it to market. But Microsoft found it significant enough to apply for a patent on the technology in September 2008, and this week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office deemed it worthy of one.
Let us ask IV, Acacia Media, Spangenberg, et al why someone would patents something with no intention of bringing anything to market. Oh, wait…
The best part is the part about the picture they used in the application. The article does say that the image is “unattributed”, meaning it’s not something they stole from someone outright or pilfered from some poor soul’s Flickr or Pbase site (not that that’s happened to yours truly before) without giving credit. And lo, they have apologized:
The use of the skywriting image in the patent was an error and Microsoft will immediately submit the patent for re-issue proceedings to correct the drawings. Microsoft regrets
any confusion caused bygetting busted for this error.
I suppose at the end of this day this quote makes the most sense:
Not that it’s the most consequential technology in the world, but accuracy in patent filings is an important principle at a time when Microsoft and others are pushing to reform the system.