back to article Dynamic Data do-over denied: Judge upholds $7m patent infringement claim against Microsoft

A New York judge has denied Microsoft a new trial after the software giant attempted to overturn a 2020 judgement over its infringement of a database interface patent. The motion (PDF) was an effort by the Windows giant to set aside a verdict in February 2020 that its Dynamic Data product infringed a patent awarded to Deutsche …

  1. Major N

    How can a product released in 2007/2008 violate a patent filed in 2011? Surely it should be prior art and invalidate the patent?

    1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

      Likely due to who filed patents when, but without GrokLaw around, I don't know. I still deeply miss that site.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        It would have to have been pending a long, long time given that there was S/W automatically building user interfaces decades before that.

        1. Falmari Silver badge

          Looks like it was filed 2007-10-26

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      Because the USA patent law is insane and ripe for abuse.

      1. gobaskof Silver badge

        Almost no other country lets people patent software. And for good reason, if any new idea in software created a 20 year monopoly we would have hardly progressed at all.

        Fighting bad patents one at a time is a huge burden that absorbs so much time and money. Microsoft can afford $7m, and they have been abusive enough in the past that I have no sympathy. But what about the small businesses we don't hear about?

        The US needs patent reform. If companies want to protect themselves in the long-term against software patents they should support the EFF lobbying when it lobbies for patent reform.

  2. big_D Silver badge

    Didn't...

    dBase do something similar in the early 90s?

    And I've worked with other tools (VAX, Mac, DOS and Windows) in the 80s and 90s that automatically generated a default layout based on a database structure...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Didn't...

      90s? Informix was doing this in the 80s. I wrote an application to generated the 4GL code to use the interface as did a number of other people.

      Oh, of course, this is on the web. Naturally that makes all the difference. What's obvious to anybody skilled in the art with character-based interfaces requires a unique inspiration to achieve on the web.

  3. RLWatkins

    People have been doing this since the late 1970s.

    Seriously, someone patented the notion of generating a UI from a data record description for the purpose of editing said data records?

    I, personally, have done this in BASIC+ on a DEC PDP/11 in the late 1970s, and many times in many languages since then. I'd heard of people doing it even before then, and have heard of it since, long before SQL-type DBs even became mainstream technology.

    The technique was used in SQL and pre-SQL DB tools not long afterward.

    The idea has been around for something like forty years. Seriously, someone *patented* it? Good grief.

    BTW, although we still have been unable to patent the hammer, our patent for using hammers to drive nails is coming along nicely.

    The world has gone mad.

  4. Amused Bystander

    Complaining about daft patents..

    My Aunt worked in the UK patent office for a couple of decades. The process of evaluating a patent application was to search paper records for prior art. The paper records had to be indexed when granted( physical cards ) and filed in the right place.

    If possible prior art was uncovered, it was escalated to a more senior official (another civil servant with probably no technical background) who had to deal with dozens of applications a day.

    In these days of Bingle we can very quickly find information, some of it true and accurate, but back in the last century when the index had few keys (possibly date of application, some vague words of description supplied by a non-technical clerk), the task of sorting through the index card by card and looking up the patent filing was very time consuming, boring, poorly paid work.

    Thus it was only after WW2 that we discovered the Germans had obtained a UK patent on the Enigma machine in the 1930s.

    I agree the broad, over-reaching patent is possibly unfair and stifles competition, but the idea of a patent is to protect someone who has a good idea from having said idea ripped off. See Joseph Swan and Edison.

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