I see Microsoft has filed another set of bozo patents - two related to RSS. Here's the first blurb that's easy to make fun of:
If granted, one proposed patent would cover "finding and consuming Web subscriptions in a Web browser." The invention, for example, could allow a user to "subscribe to a particular Web feed, be provided with a user interface that contains distinct indicia to identify new feeds, and...efficiently consume or read RSS feeds using both an RSS reader and a Web browser".
Hmm. Call me crazy, but that sounds a heck of a lot like what BlogLines does. BlogLines has been around since before the June 2005 filing, so this seems to be an absurd attempt at overreach. Let's move on:
A related application, titled "content syndication platform," appears to describe a system that can break down feeds into a format that can be accessed and managed by many different types of applications and users.
Gee, you mean like OPML? Or like the various feed synchronization schemes that are out there? Here are the people who *cough* take credit *cough* for these bozo patents:
Jane Kim, program manager for RSS in Internet Explorer, detailed those features in a blog entry last year. Kim and her colleague Amar Gandhi, group program manager of the Windows RSS team, are among the inventors listed on both applications.
We can only hope that Kim and Gandhi will do the right thing, and try to get the patent application withdrawn.