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Author Topic: Microsoft attempting to patent "sudo"  (Read 2421 times)

Offline trishtren18

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Microsoft attempting to patent "sudo"
« on: November 11, 2009, 10:02:15 PM »
i just can believe this could pass through the courts and not gett thrown out

http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,617,530.PN.&OS=PN/7,617,530&RS=PN/7,617,530

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20091111094923390

look at these articles and especially the last one.  crazy stuff going on here.
unzip; strip; touch; finger; mount; fsck; more; yes; unmount; sleep  - my daily unix command list

To err is human... to really foul up requires the root password

Microsoft: "You've got questions. We've got dancing paperclips."

Offline althalus

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Re: Microsoft attempting to patent "sudo"
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 11:36:09 PM »
title is incorrect. Microsoft is not trying to patent sudo. What they are patenting is a box that pops up with a list of users that have the required permissions to do whatever you're trying to do. Something like gksudo is a bit closer to what they are actually trying to patent, but having not read the patent too closely (the language hurts my brain) and not having a good understanding how gksudo works, I think this is a slightly different system - Microsoft has patented here a much "smarter" version of sudo.

Nor has this patent passed through any court - they get approved by the USPTO, which by all accounts I've read, is understaffed, and lacks the technical knowledge to adequately assess a technical patent. The patent won't be tested in a court until microsoft tries to sue somebody for using their patent without proper licensing/royalties/blah blah.

I will grant you that crazy stuff does quite regularly go in the patent world though.

PS: Note that I'm not American, OR a lawyer, so take my opinions with a grain of salt.

Offline trishtren18

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Re: Microsoft attempting to patent "sudo"
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 06:13:24 AM »
but cant microsoft sue simply on the grounds that they have something patented that is alike to something we use?
unzip; strip; touch; finger; mount; fsck; more; yes; unmount; sleep  - my daily unix command list

To err is human... to really foul up requires the root password

Microsoft: "You've got questions. We've got dancing paperclips."

Offline tclfan

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Re: Microsoft attempting to patent "sudo"
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 07:42:13 AM »
PS: Note that I'm not American, OR a lawyer, so take my opinions with a grain of salt.
This is a very proud and strong statement to make nowadays!
US has 5% of the world's population but 70% of world's lawyers!
It is good not to be hostage of the 'legal' system...

Offline trishtren18

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Re: Microsoft attempting to patent "sudo"
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 07:45:44 AM »
agreed and i do not claim that what microsoft has created is indeed "sudo" but still i think they would have the right, if this were patented, to claim rights over the idea of "sudo" since microsofts and unix/linux command does basicly the same exact thing.  its just called something different and wrapped up in a gui with the same concept is what im trying to say.
unzip; strip; touch; finger; mount; fsck; more; yes; unmount; sleep  - my daily unix command list

To err is human... to really foul up requires the root password

Microsoft: "You've got questions. We've got dancing paperclips."

Offline althalus

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Re: Microsoft attempting to patent "sudo"
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 11:35:37 AM »
but cant microsoft sue simply on the grounds that they have something patented that is alike to something we use?
No, they can't sue you just because you use something that is "like" what they've patented. Well, they can, but they then have to prove that what you use is EXACTLY[1] what they've patented.

If you're developing a small OSS project, chances are that you might be infringing on a fair number of patents, but nobody is going to bother trying to sue you - You "sell" your product for free, so unless you've got some good support contracts, you've got no money for the patent holder. Of course, when you start talking about a tool as widely used as sudo, somebody might be stupid enough to try and enforce a patent, but in the case of this patent, I believe that such a case would either:
1) Be thrown out because the patent doesn't apply to sudo
2) the case would end in the patent being declared invalid, as there is proof that sudo has existed since 1980, constituing prior art.

I suppose there is always a 3). Linux gets screwed over by stupid judge taking hefty bribes. But let's not dwell on thatand just have some faith in those venerable people passing judgement on the rest of us.


[1] Speak to a patent lawyer for certainty, because this is definately not quite right - right enough for a layman or OSS developer worried about whether he infringes, but if you're trying to make money, yeah, lawyer up and get REAL advise.

Quote
This is a very proud and strong statement to make nowadays!
US has 5% of the world's population but 70% of world's lawyers!
It is good not to be hostage of the 'legal' system...
I don't know if not being american is really something to be proud of, I know a fair number of respectable americans. One of them even a lawyer. I'm proud to be able to call myself Australian though, even if some americans have managed to get that confused with Austria.

Offline trishtren18

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Re: Microsoft attempting to patent "sudo"
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 12:08:40 PM »
lol thanks for the info.  always a bit of concern with matters like this
unzip; strip; touch; finger; mount; fsck; more; yes; unmount; sleep  - my daily unix command list

To err is human... to really foul up requires the root password

Microsoft: "You've got questions. We've got dancing paperclips."