[free-software-melb] Apple starts patenting Swift Programming functions

Les Kitchen ljk+fsm at ljk.id.au
Wed Jan 30 10:18:52 UTC 2019


On Sat, Jan 26, 2019, at 20:29, Michael Verrenkamp wrote:
> Howdy folks,
> 
> Just a heads up to those who follow the progress of various development 
> technologies. Apple appeared to be doing something really good for the 
> world when they decided the make their Swift programming language open 
> to the world to be used as people wished.
> 
> Apparently they could help themselves and have decided to start 
> patenting various functions of the language.
> 
> https://patents.google.com/patent/US9952841B2/en

Thanks, Michael, for that.

I haven't read through the entirety of the claims, but all I've
looked at seems to be just common practice.  Whatever you might
think about software patents (ha ha), this sort of thing happens
appallingly often:  Company makes (bogus) patent claim for
something that's already standard practice, and it wrongly gets
passed by the patent examiners.  Once they have the patent they
can use it to beat up anyone who's just using well-known
techniques, and that can be challenged only by someone with
enough dollars to challenge the validity of the the patent in
court.  I saw this happen a few years ago with Blackboard
company, who revealed they had a sleeper patent on any sort of
online learning-management system.  In this case, in the face of
massive protest by academics, they backed down from enforcing
their patent, but legally their patent still stands.

All up, this is another thing wrong with the current
"intellectual property" regime.

— Smiles, Les.


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