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(C|Net)   BT Group goes to court to establish patent on hyperlinks   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
•       •       •

4544 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Feb 2002 at 12:55 PM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

63 Comments     (+0 »)

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2002-02-07 01:00:18 PM  
BT - profitting at £99 p/m and still not happy.

The thing is (I reckon), the genii's out of the bottle. They would have to sue the whole world.

No chance.

farking Brits.
2002-02-07 01:01:23 PM  
Farker Manic soon to follow with patent on his extra-special meta tags.
2002-02-07 01:02:26 PM  
2002-02-07 01:02:51 PM  
"Intellectual Property" - are these people trying to inspire a new oxymoron?
2002-02-07 01:03:38 PM  
Hyper-Link this:
2002-02-07 01:03:47 PM  
these internet companies are going to charge each other out of business. eventually everything on the net is going to cost, and then everyone can go back to having a real life, because whats the point of staying online if you can only aford a coupla sites.
internet fees=parking meter
2002-02-07 01:04:10 PM  
I hold the patent on the "img src" tag... MINE MINE MINE.
2002-02-07 01:04:24 PM  
This is by far the dumbest trial I have read about in the last forty-five seconds. So is everyone going to start clamoring over all the other HTML commands? What if another company claims ownership of the left bracket, where will that leave BT? Heck, what if England wants its language back?
2002-02-07 01:05:46 PM  
I read the patent a few months back and I (with a CIS degree, not legal) believe they have a valid case. Whether they can enforce it or not remains to be seen...
2002-02-07 01:07:13 PM  
©1998 All rights reserved.
2002-02-07 01:08:06 PM  
Farker Manic soon to follow with patent on his extra-special meta tags.

good one!
2002-02-07 01:08:20 PM  
The CEO nd the lawyers of BT all need a swift kick in the groin over this crap.
2002-02-07 01:09:16 PM  
Might as well try and patent air.

Manky scot gits.
2002-02-07 01:09:35 PM  
They are using GIFs on their website, compuserve should sue them for using a copyrighted algorithm....
2002-02-07 01:09:56 PM  
I'm kind of torn on this. I suppose it will help take out some squatting issues, and porn sites that take a domain name with a misspelling of a popular site. I don't like some of the other things that come with it, however, like the fee thing referenced in the article.

2002-02-07 01:15:06 PM  
Notice that companys only try this shiat if they are out of money. They think that this is thier "quick way out of debit" card. Why wasn't this brought up 10 years ago?. Stupid CEO's who don't know how to run a company.
2002-02-07 01:15:28 PM  
Hmmmmmmm. Probably should clarify my statement:

I believe the patent is a valid description of hyper-linking... Don't know about the "novelity" of it...
2002-02-07 01:22:42 PM  
I have been breathing oxygen since 1969. Therefore, each and every oxygen breathing lifeform owes me.. Ah, let's say ten cents for each breath they've ever taken. Hmm.. Maybe I should set up a PayPal account for this.
2002-02-07 01:31:03 PM  
Almost as bad as W3C with their pending patent.
Only reason I say 'almost' as bad is because I doubt [hope?] that this doesn't pass.

It's not a new idea - it's a very, very basic concept. As basic as talking. Select something on the screen to go to a different page. Sounds almost like a menu to me...

Assheads. We need to bring back lynch mobs.
2002-02-07 01:35:17 PM  
I have a patent pending patent on a way to patent patent pending patents.

Hey, if you type it enough, "patent" looses all rational meaning

How ironic.
2002-02-07 01:36:08 PM  
Fun. So coders will now have to type A HREF™= in their source codes?
2002-02-07 01:38:06 PM  
Previous art goes back decades before this patent. The fact that this patent was approved should be sufficient to prove that the patent office is incapable of doing its job.
2002-02-07 01:38:13 PM  
The problem is that the people in the Patent Office are farking morons...they're so technologically inept and out of the loop that they'll just patent anything they don't understand.
2002-02-07 01:38:30 PM  
This type of stuff is starting to irritate me where the sun don't shine. Look even my english is breakind down over it. Stop patenting silly things like ring tones and hyperlinks. Next thing you know the darn photoshops will be patented. Each word I use will be patented. People, stop trying to make money because your business model has died and you need something. Be innovative! Come up with new things and ideas! Alternate Energy! Housing Materials! Liquid Metal Walls! Transportation devices that look like handtrucks and move at 12 MPH! C'mon already, stop taking advantage of the system.. maybe help your fellow man or something.. beautify the earth...

The preceding was a rant. Rants by this poster are extremely rare. This rant was sponsored by Anonymous Drunk Penguins. Anonymous Drunk Penguins for all your party needs.
2002-02-07 01:41:51 PM  
Hate to tell them this, but Ted Nelson had the idea of hypertext pretty well worked out by the early 1980s. I knew Ted and some of his friends at Xanadu (qv) at the time. I was working for a computer company in Ann Arbor called Comshare. I recall trying to interest some of the folks at Comshare in the idea and being treated with polite disdain concerning the idea. The Comshare folks thought their business modelling software was the ticket to the big time. Last I heard they weren't doing so well. Well, I told 'em so. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha... BT may have a patent, but they sure as hell didn't invent hypertext.
2002-02-07 01:43:23 PM  
As written, the patent could be construed to cover Teletype machines, which can include a "bel" character to ring a bell notifying operators of incoming message; technology from the 1920's... It is nearly as broad as the Aussie patent on the wheel.
2002-02-07 01:44:09 PM  
The preceeding message was brought to you by
Stefelman Ear Plugs...

Stefelman...PROTECT YOUR EARS!!!
2002-02-07 01:47:56 PM  
Early 80s? The Carmody Hypertext System had working hyperlinks in 1969.

Valid case my ass.
2002-02-07 01:54:37 PM  
In the interest of the betterment of all mankind, the term 'Intellectual Property' should be removed from all standing laws in all nations. Developments in science and technology should be public domain.

Praise public domain.
2002-02-07 01:57:42 PM  
Fark surrenders.
2002-02-07 01:58:36 PM  
["It's a rock star in the patent world," he added. ]

Hello Cleveland!!
2002-02-07 01:59:01 PM  
I am wondering where Al Gore is going to fit into all of this.. seeing as he is the one who gave us the Internet.
2002-02-07 02:00:08 PM  
1968 Demo

It is very cool. Besides... like most other basic ideas, this is an asinine patent... If they charge for it, it will destroy the internet. I know I sure won't pay someone. Good job assheads! Knock us back to the days of BBSes... oh, unless BBS menus can count as hyperlinks (menus, where each option leads to a different page... tax it!)
2002-02-07 02:01:21 PM  
In other news, Eve claims patent rights to the period. Publishers mourn.
2002-02-07 02:25:08 PM  
Wait a second...

...there are over 3 million users who have Prodigy???
2002-02-07 02:25:23 PM  
AburKadabur - Removing "intellectual property" patents will hurt not help development in science and technology. A lot of the progress is made because someone can sell it. If you can develop something and then someone else can steal it and sell it too, they can sell it for less than you, because you have all of the R&D costs included in your price, that they don't. That would effectively stop all commercial progress, because if they come up with it, their cost is more. A better idea would be to shorten the length of the patent such that the developer can recover the costs that are included in R&D and a reasonable profit, and then let the patent go into public domain...
2002-02-07 02:27:25 PM  
Like this will ever happen. What a waste of time.
2002-02-07 02:28:31 PM  
this is bullshiat bullshiat bullshiat bullshiat bullshiat bullshiat bullshiat bullshiat...

And why are they sueing ISPs? Wouldn't this be like sueing the cable companies because TBS broadcasted a show that it didn't own?

farking stupid in every way shape and form. There should be a law against abusing the legal system in this fasion, and patenting an idea that MANY MANY others have thought of LONG before you should also be criminal. And I mean criminal, not civil libility, ie jail time.
2002-02-07 02:36:12 PM  
Is it me, or is there a different company that brings up this same damn lawsuit every year?

I hold the patent on trolling.
2002-02-07 02:46:34 PM  
Bullshiat. Al Gore invented Hyperlinks.
2002-02-07 02:54:13 PM  
PSHAW !!! that's nothing ; I invented ASCII text so all of you owe me royalties RIGHT NOW !!! Type nothing further until the check has been sent.

And I also invented the term PSHAW!!(copyrighted) Please send royalty to cover as well.
2002-02-07 02:59:45 PM  
Someone needs to burn down England.
2002-02-07 03:04:12 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2002-02-07 03:04:39 PM  
It's funny how far the Al Gore and the Internet thing went.

Gore saw the internet was something worth looking into and helped bring it out of obscurity. He didn't actually 'invent' the damn thing.

It took a hell of a long time to do that. I mean, when they tried to send the word 'login' between two computers, the thing crashed on the 'G'.

Sounds like Microsoft hired a bunch of ex-arpa engineers.
2002-02-07 03:05:06 PM  

Your argument is not entirely correct take for instance the story of Richard Stillman. About twenty years ago, a guy named Richard Stallman was a grad student at MIT. During his time there, he participated in a community of software developers who shared code between themselves and were at the cutting edge of computer programming. When those people started to leave the university and go into private enterprise, they stopped being willing to share their code, because the standard corporate philosophy is to keep secrets rather than share them.

Stallman thought that was a mistake. He feels that the best way to get good software is to let everyone see the source code, and be able to make changes to that code if they think the changes necessary. Stallman in fact considers this a "natural right," up there with the right to free speech, the right to assemble, and the right to practice a religion. He's a little on the extreme side, but he has been proven (at least partially) correct.

Stallman left MIT and started an organization called GNU. Old-school programmers are a funny bunch, and one thing they like are nonsense acronyms that are self-referencing. "GNU" means "GNU's Not Unix." Trust me, if you don't get the joke, you're not missing anything. The GNU project was designed to create a completely "free" version of Unix, and all the tools and utilities that a person would need to use a computer without having to use any "closed" or proprietary software. To facilitate that effort, Stallman authored a document called the GNU General Public License (known as the GPL).

The GPL is the first use of a novel legal concept which has come to be known as the "copyleft." A "copyright" is a way of restricting the rights of others to use a given work. A "copyleft" is a way of forcing everyone to allow anyone to use a given work pretty much any way they want to, and not be able to restrict those rights.

Fast forward a decade to an undergraduate Finnish computer programmer named Linus Torvalds. Torvalds creates a small computer operating system called "Linux" and releases it to the public via the GPL. Using his original code as a base, thousands of programmers all over the world begin to extend and develop the system, and in a few short years, it becomes as capable, robust, stable and usable as the best Unix versions. In fact, Linux takes a larger share of the worldwide server market share than Windows NT, despite everything Microsoft does to combat it.

Surrounding the creation and development of Linux itself, a whole community of programs thrives under the loose umbrella of "Open Source." Linux drew that community the attention of a lot of really bright people who have delved into the phenomenon and come up on the other side shouting "Eureka!" It turns out, that for many types of problems, "Open Source" development tends, on the whole, to be a better process than traditional, closed source development.

The curious should look at,, and should seek out Eric Raymond's essay "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" via a lookup on any capable search engine.

There is now a new, viable model for creating complex systems, using standardized protocols and interfaces, that are shared by many people, with many independent sub-components that have to work together.

Praise Richard Stillman.

This was totally ripped off from:
2002-02-07 03:24:47 PM  
I used to work for BT. If they ever tell you they promise to hire you permanently after your contract expires, start updating your resume.

Zombie "Bitter? I hardly knew her!" Zero
2002-02-07 03:36:18 PM  
I invented trolling! FARK owes me millions!
2002-02-07 03:47:25 PM  
in related news, i have a patent pending on the wheel, expect to hand out big $$$$ for the privilige of using my invention.
2002-02-07 03:49:30 PM  
Does this mean I can SUE BT everytime I run into a broken link ?
2002-02-07 03:52:25 PM  
AburKadabur - Just because the GPL applies well to some software, does not mean that everything in the world should be public domain... One argument does not prove that we should get rid of "intellectual property" patents. I could give you many such examples to the contrary. You have a false syllogism there. I do think that there needs to be reform in the area, but removing it altogether would be disastrous. Most people would not want to develop anything new, save universities, because their ideas would most definitely get ripped off. You have to think of the real world. If this were to happen, the end result would be one huge conglomerate company, a monopoly, which could control all markets. Sounds an afwul lot like all of those bleak future Science Fiction Stories to me. No thanks.
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