basically tech

41 Microsoft copies core BlueJ functionality, then applies for patent, then backs off

Monday 29th January, 2007

BlueJ is an educational IDE for teaching object-oriented programming and Java to beginners. The full article details how Microsoft knowingly copied core functionality from BlueJ and planned to patent it as their own "invention".

After blatantly copying BlueJ (without reference or attribution), Microsoft have now filed for patent for the functionality they knowingly copied from us.

Why? To sue us out of the market? To make us pay? Who knows. Sad fact is that this could destroy BlueJ.
BlueJ competes with Microsoft’s Visual Studio in the education market. Not ‘compete’ in a commercial sense from our point of view, since we ... do not make money from the distribution of BlueJ, but ‘compete’ in a business sense for Microsoft, since BlueJ adoption can theoretically mean lost sales for Redmond.

After the full glare of Internet publicity hit them, Microsoft claim that:

... the patent application was a mistake and one that should not have happened. To fix this, Microsoft will be removing the patent application in question.

A mistake? One wonders how many other such mistakes have been made and not noticed.