The power of patents

Here’s an article, “Who Owns XML?” talking about Scientigo, a company that has patents (No. 5,842,213 and No. 6,393,426), which it believes cover the “Namespace” features of XML.

Just about any significant usage of XML uses Namespaces. If this patent is “solid”, and of course that’s yet to be determined, it will be worth many, many millions.

Looks like they’re already in discussion…

According to Bryant, the company so far has held talks with more than 40 companies about its patent claims, including Microsoft and Oracle, and this week Bryant says he’s finalizing an agreement with an IP licensing firm.

and this is not the first time that patents on XML have been valued:

…South Carolina-based e-business software developer Commerce One auctioned off a collection of their own XML-related patents last December for $15.5 million…

I know that most programmers (who have never filed or received a patent) really hate patents, but those of us that have painstakenly went through the process of innovating and protecting our intellectual property understand the power of the patent system and really appreciate how it gives the little guy a chance to make it big.

In today’s world of giant tech companies and easily-duplicatable intellectual property, a patent is one of the most powerful ways to protect a truly great idea. I love ’em!