How Yahoo Weaponized Andy Baio’s Work

Andy Baio:

I thought I was giving them a shield, but turns out I gave them a missile with my name permanently engraved on it.

I was naive. Even if the original intention was truly defensive, a patent portfolio can easily change hands, and a company can even more easily change its mind. Since I left in 2007, Yahoo has had three CEOs and a board overhaul.

The scary part is that even the most innocuous patent can be used to crush another’s creativity. One of the patents I co-invented is so abstract, it could not only cover Facebook’s News Feed, but virtually any activity feed. It puts into very sharp focus the trouble with software patents: Purposefully vague wording invites broad interpretation.

Some software patent suits are spiteful, some are just shitty, but some reek of desperation. Yahoo’s gambit feels desperate to me.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Ads via The Deck Ads via The Deck