Nov 20 2010

Microsoft’s data binding patent

I just stumbled across
United States Patent 7730394, Data binding in a word-processing application

Its Microsoft’s patent on data bound content controls.

Its a useful description of how it works.

I’m not sure it’s worthy of a patent though.  They reference a  lot of prior art, but not my March 2004 paper  “XForms for Contract Semantics”, which contains the following binding example:

In consideration of the payment of <xforms:output ref=”lineitems/item/price”/>, <xforms:output ref=”supplier”/> agrees to deliver
a <xforms:output ref=”lineitems/item/name”/> to <xforms:output ref=”customer”/> on or before <xforms:output ref=”deliverydate”/>.

Interestingly to me, Wolters Kluwer referenced my paper in their “Document creation system” patent, but that’s a side note.

I’m a big fan of data-bound content controls.

So much so, in fact, that I’d like to see the same stuff included in ODF and implemented in OpenOffice .. umm .. maybe I mean LibreOffice these days!

That would obviously be more likely if Microsoft didn’t lodge patents for stuff like this.  Who can blame them, you might say, with things like i4i happening to them?  Well, my response is that they should be using their considerable corporate muscle to lobby for patent reform.  In the absence of such efforts, you can only conclude that the innovation inhibiting patent system suits Microsoft, event though they take the odd hundred million dollar hit from it.

No Responses so far

Comments are closed.

Comment RSS