Re: Microsoft Patents 'IsNot'

Discussion in 'Python' started by Terry Reedy, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. Terry Reedy

    Terry Reedy Guest

    "Skip Montanaro" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > My guess is Microsoft hopes to discourage Visual Basic knock-offs. Claim
    > 2
    > clearly seems to restrict the scope to BASIC.


    But Claim 1 is generic. Not being an initiate into Patentese, I would not
    be sure is Claim 2 is a restriction or an exemplification or a backup
    claim.

    > Seems pretty slimy.


    To me, this confirms the depravity of software claims.

    I think the Python Software Foundation should notify both the Patent Office
    and the claimant lawyers of Python's prior art of an 'is not' operator with
    the same meaning. The necessity, for Basic, to delete the space or change
    it to '_' (and both forms, with all variations of casing, are 'claimed' as
    inventions) is because Microsoft Basic currently parses 'a Is Not b' as 'a
    Is (Not b)' instead of 'a (Is Not) b' as Python does and coupled with a
    proper reluctance to change the meaning of currently legal code. But
    changing ' ' to '_' for pragmatic reasons is standard in programming
    languages, including Python.

    Terry J. Reedy
     
    Terry Reedy, Nov 19, 2004
    #1
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  2. Terry Reedy

    Steve Holden Guest

    Terry Reedy wrote:

    > "Skip Montanaro" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>My guess is Microsoft hopes to discourage Visual Basic knock-offs. Claim
    >>2
    >>clearly seems to restrict the scope to BASIC.

    >
    >
    > But Claim 1 is generic. Not being an initiate into Patentese, I would not
    > be sure is Claim 2 is a restriction or an exemplification or a backup
    > claim.
    >

    The normal method of applying for a patent starts with the most general
    claims and has subsequent claims restricting the scope successively. The
    argument then becomes how far down the list the patent examiner must go
    before seeing what he or she regards as a defensible claim.
    >
    >>Seems pretty slimy.

    >
    >

    Yep.

    > To me, this confirms the depravity of software claims.
    >

    Stupidity, I should have said.

    > I think the Python Software Foundation should notify both the Patent Office
    > and the claimant lawyers of Python's prior art of an 'is not' operator with
    > the same meaning. The necessity, for Basic, to delete the space or change
    > it to '_' (and both forms, with all variations of casing, are 'claimed' as
    > inventions) is because Microsoft Basic currently parses 'a Is Not b' as 'a
    > Is (Not b)' instead of 'a (Is Not) b' as Python does and coupled with a
    > proper reluctance to change the meaning of currently legal code. But
    > changing ' ' to '_' for pragmatic reasons is standard in programming
    > languages, including Python.
    >

    While I admire the sentiment, I can't really support the Foundation
    becoming involved in such nonsense.

    regards
    Steve
    --
    http://www.holdenweb.com
    http://pydish.holdenweb.com
    Holden Web LLC +1 800 494 3119
     
    Steve Holden, Nov 20, 2004
    #2
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  3. Terry Reedy

    Steve Holden Guest

    Terry Reedy wrote:

    > "Skip Montanaro" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>My guess is Microsoft hopes to discourage Visual Basic knock-offs. Claim
    >>2
    >>clearly seems to restrict the scope to BASIC.

    >
    >
    > But Claim 1 is generic. Not being an initiate into Patentese, I would not
    > be sure is Claim 2 is a restriction or an exemplification or a backup
    > claim.
    >

    The normal method of applying for a patent starts with the most general
    claims and has subsequent claims restricting the scope successively. The
    argument then becomes how far down the list the patent examiner must go
    before seeing what he or she regards as a defensible claim.
    >
    >>Seems pretty slimy.

    >
    >

    Yep.

    > To me, this confirms the depravity of software claims.
    >

    Stupidity, I should have said.

    > I think the Python Software Foundation should notify both the Patent Office
    > and the claimant lawyers of Python's prior art of an 'is not' operator with
    > the same meaning. The necessity, for Basic, to delete the space or change
    > it to '_' (and both forms, with all variations of casing, are 'claimed' as
    > inventions) is because Microsoft Basic currently parses 'a Is Not b' as 'a
    > Is (Not b)' instead of 'a (Is Not) b' as Python does and coupled with a
    > proper reluctance to change the meaning of currently legal code. But
    > changing ' ' to '_' for pragmatic reasons is standard in programming
    > languages, including Python.
    >

    While I admire the sentiment, I can't really support the Foundation
    becoming involved in such nonsense.

    regards
    Steve
    --
    http://www.holdenweb.com
    http://pydish.holdenweb.com
    Holden Web LLC +1 800 494 3119
     
    Steve Holden, Nov 20, 2004
    #3
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