Full Article Attached Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

Thursday February 4th, 1999

Microsoft has received patents for "Style sheets for publishing system", and for "Butt hinge with integrally formed butt straps"..

It was mighty kind of Microsoft to get the input of the development community before taking everything for themselves. I guess that everyone should just feel glad that Microsoft let them participate at all.

Thank you, Microsoft!!!

For those of you who think that Microsoft couldn't possibly be referring to CSS, just click Full Article below to see their list of references.

#1 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by Jason Boxman

Thursday February 4th, 1999 5:38 PM

That's funny.

They can just try to enforce it.

#2 Re:

by Eaton Messner

Thursday February 4th, 1999 9:53 PM

My guess is that Microsoft will not enforce the patent. They are probably only interested in bulking up their portfolio as a defense against patent infrigment suits.

Microsoft probably wouldn't feel compelled to do this if there were not so many idiotic patents. Some clown was awarded a patent for active content in a web browser.

#3 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by kin-kwok

Thursday February 4th, 1999 10:49 PM

It is great, isn't it?? So, it means nobody can use it on their WEB site, or display it on the bowser!! MS got somthings that people no longer (or can) use it ;P


#4 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by Jeremy Lee

Thursday February 4th, 1999 10:51 PM

Ah. It all makes sense now. They have obviously all gone quite insane.

It explains everything. The patent, the Office 2000 licencing, the court case, and the butt hinge. It's the only possible reason they would attempt to patent an openly worked-on standard with massive prior art, thus infuriating thousands of developers, the W3C, the whole SGML industry, and hordes of webmonkeys.

Ye gods. To cap it all, the Patent office is apparently braindead at the wheel, at a time when Intellectual Property (especially in the tech sector) is a major event. *sigh*

Jeremy Lee | Orinoco

#5 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by incubus

Friday February 5th, 1999 6:09 AM

How can M$ patent CSS? The WC3 came up with them right? AHHH DAMN YOU BASTARD!! Now AOL is going to say they invented JavaScript.

#6 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by misuba

Friday February 5th, 1999 10:39 AM

okay, I wanna know the real scoop about this butt hinge deal. glitch in the patent website's software, maybe?

#7 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by zontar

Friday February 5th, 1999 10:45 AM

You have GOT to be kidding me.

What the hell have those patent office jokers been smoking, anyway? I want some -- NOT.

#8 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by Thomas Winzig

Friday February 5th, 1999 12:51 PM

If you read the Butt Hinge patent, you'd see that it's not a joke. It's something for a door. Microsoft is -- gasp! -- branching out into new sectors.

Who woulda thunk it.

"Patents are stupid." -- Thomas Winzig

#9 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by A Zimmerman

Friday February 5th, 1999 2:16 PM

I see one of three courses for MS at this point: 1. never enforce the patent unless somebody else figures out how to use style sheets with some new technology 2. MS creates proprietary extensions to Style Sheets and forbids everybody else from doing same 3. MS gives the patent to W3 after massive internet and press attention to the matter

I suppose we should have expected this. MS steals or buys everything, slaps their name on it, and then makes money off of idiots who think MS did all the work.

Still doesn't excuse the USPTO for all their crappy patent investigations, let alone discourage lawsuits to settle patent disagreements.


#10 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by random static

Friday February 5th, 1999 2:36 PM

at least the door hinge patent seems like the kind of thing patents are for in the first place - a practical, useful, physical invention that seems to have a real tangible advantage.

or maybe i'm just a stinking communist for thinking "intellectual property" should go under copyright laws, not patents. whatever.

#11 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by dave h

Friday February 5th, 1999 2:42 PM

How can MS possibly have a patent covering CSS or XSL, when they were developed as open standards by the W3C? Does MS really think it can turn the "World Wide Web" into the "Microsoft Wide Web"?? Surely because the original proposals were out before the patent application, Microsoft shouldn't be able to take over CSS?

I really want to know what the W3C has to say on the matter. I think a press release would be nice.

#12 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by Another Martin

Friday February 5th, 1999 4:26 PM

I think the patent office charges $2500 to re-evaluate an already issued patent. Perhaps they are underfunded and see this as a great way to make a few extra bucks.

#13 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by 1stNilsson

Saturday February 6th, 1999 9:16 AM

If you've ever used another OS, you easily see that Micro$oft is a malevolent "free market" economic virus feeding on ignorance and weak minds - but " finds a way.."(Ian Malcom,Jurassic Park). I'm betting on Linux, a true lifeform thriving in the warm vastness of cyberspace, hand-fed by the thought energy of myriad creative programmers, growing ever stronger, articulate and stable.

#14 The People vs. Microsoft

by macpeep

Saturday February 6th, 1999 12:13 PM

I can't help but wonder why it is that people seem to think that everything that isn't Microsoft has to be ANTI-Microsoft.

Time after time, when something bad happens which can be attributed to Microsoft, there's name calling (M$, MickeySoft....) and talk about how Bill Gates is the Great Satan.

While it's a bit odd that Microsoft would patent style sheets, what's *REALLY* odd is that they were GRANTED this patent. This seems to be totally forgotten in the discussions.

Please, at least TRY to be objective!

#15 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by Joshua Go

Saturday February 6th, 1999 5:28 PM

This really pissed me off when I first read about it. But my thoughts have somewhat been rationalized by reading the other comments and good points made by those who posted before I did.

There's no way that Microsoft can enforce this, as many sites, including those of countless individuals (myself included), already use CSS in one form or another. What I haven't been able to really figure out is what possible evil motive they have in mind. Building up their portfolio? Is that it? That seems like a pretty big thing to attempt, but maybe they're aiming for a big portfolio.

And yes, it makes me question what substances the personnel at the patent office are ingesting. I really didn't have much against patents until I found out about the absurdities going on in the tech industry. The patent office people surely must be on crack.

#16 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by talisman

Saturday February 6th, 1999 5:57 PM

Wasn't it awfully nice of Microsoft to *not* give credit to the *real* inventors of the CSS specification, Hakon Wium Lie and Bert Bos? They didn't even refer to them in their patent application. How rude.

Worse yet, the US Patent and Trademark Office obviously didn't bother checking any of the information out. That's the only way Microsoft could be granted a patent on something they had absolutely no part in developing.

This is truly a sad state of affairs - the US government is now helping Microsoft steal from the rest of us. Lovely.

#17 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by Chris Hamlin

Saturday February 6th, 1999 8:26 PM

WOW! I really thought this was dumb. Then I checked out some of the other patents on that site. THEY'RE ALL DUMB!!!!

If you work in electronic publishing, go to that MS patent and click on the referenced patents. It is pretty obvious that the patent office doesn't have a clue what is going on.

I'd like to blame MS, but you have to think that this is the way business is done after looking at all the garbage there. What a joke!

#18 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by Antony T Curtis

Tuesday February 9th, 1999 3:38 PM

What is especially stupid is that style sheets for publishing/documents have been around for ages... Needless to say, the first wordprocessor for Windows, which wasn't Word or WordPerfect or WordStar... It was made by a small company called Samna who called the wordprocessor "Ami" - *that* had style sheets. (it later evolved in to Ami Pro before they were bought up by Lotus)

#19 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge


Wednesday February 10th, 1999 12:04 AM

so the Butt Hinge has WIN CE built in right? huh?

#20 I received my patent on breathing technique

by Kevin Davis

Saturday February 20th, 1999 8:51 AM

Who has the patent on HTML?

#21 can we patent Microsoft?

by gamache

Wednesday February 24th, 1999 2:47 PM

if Richard Stallman could patent Microsoft and declare it under GPL, it seems like many problems would be alleviated.

#22 Re:Microsoft Patents Style Sheets and Butt Hinge

by Paul Gray

Sunday February 28th, 1999 12:38 AM

And so the integrity of the entire intellectual property rights, and patent system continues to decline. Mark Twain was right.