Thursday, February 25, 2010

I got a patent

Today I got a pleasant surprise when I got into the office: I found a big box on my desk. It turns out it was a nice engraved plaque of my patent on "Protected Concurrent FIFO" message processing.

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The funny thing is that I didn't even know that the patent was awarded. After the patent application in 2004 or 2005, I don't even remember when it was, I lost track of its status. Emails to the patent lawyer went unanswered.

I googled for the text of the actual patent (US7644197 Queue management by multiple processors) and found a PDF which I copied to Mediacast.

A thank-you to Jerry Waldorf (my boss during the SeeBeyond days and co-applicant of the patent) for asking me to work on this subject, and a thank-you to Sun for the plaque!

By the way, I have often said that almost all software patents are nonsense and inhibit progress rather than promote it. I still feel this way. Does that make me a hypocrite? Not necessarily: companies are forced to submit patents applications so that they can defend themselves against patent litigation from competitors. In that sense I'm happy that Sun got another patent. And that I'm happy that my name is on it: well, yes, I guess that's an ego-thing.

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