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August 16, 2002 11:39 AM


Got a few/many minutes? If so, go listen to Lawrence Lessig's talk about Free Culture and then have a read thru these articles...
    Too many patents are just as bad for society as too few.
    There are those who view the patent system as the seedbed of capitalism--the place where ideas and new technologies are nurtured. This is a romantic myth. In reality, patents are enormously powerful competitive weapons that are proliferating dangerously, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has all the trappings of a revenue-driven, institutionalized arms merchant.
    ActiveBuddy's Patent Win Riles IM Bot Developers
    New York-based ActiveBuddy has won a crucial patent covering instant messaging bot-making technology, but hobbyists and amateur developers aren't buying the company's claim that it invented the technology.
    Gemstar falls 39% after losing patent-dispute ruling
    Gemstar holds more than 190 patents related to the software running interactive menus that help TV viewers pick what show to watch. Gemstar had booked $114 million in revenue for patent fees it expected to receive.
    U.S. patent debate to pit IP rights vs. competition
    Is the government issuing too many patents, thereby stifling competition and innovation? Or are attempts to lock up the rights to new technologies merely a function of increased investment in research and development during a period of unprecedented innovation and economic risk?
    Unisys/CompuServe GIF Controversy
    "They want everything to be free and let's all be friends. But fortunately, this is not the American way." -- Unisys patent lawyer Mark Starr, on his company's attempts to squeeze dough out of Websites that dare to generate GIF images, The Industry Standard, 25 April 2000 The Standard)
...and now, consider this patent application...
An XML Data Loader which employs the SAX parsing technology, provides an extendible architecture to generate SQL for each type of XML document to be loaded, and leverages multithreading and decoupling of processes to parse an XML file and to update a database. By using object-oriented programming methodologies, the system and method create new instances of the XML data loader for each XML file to be loaded into a database. Thus, many XML data files may be processed and loaded simultaneously, which minimizes system memory requirements, improves system reliability and memory management, and reduces processing time required from the start of processing an XML file to completing its loading into a database. The invention is applicable to other types of markup language documents, as well.