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Utynam's Heirs


A monthly column devoted to IP curiosities and controversies, named in honour of John of Utynam - who received the world's first recorded patent in 1449

diary@managingip.com

Microsoft’s kayak victory

Last year Microsoft's revenues topped $51 billion, making Utynam doubt whether Bill Gates will have too much trouble finding the €497 million he needs to pay the European Commission's antitrust fine.

But just in case he is scrambling around for some loose change to hand over to Neelie Kroes, the anti-software patent lobbyists Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) have announced that they are to donate €2,500 to Microsoft's cause.

But what could the Californian software company have done to warrant such a generous offer from one of its sworn enemies?

In June, the FFII announced that it would present its "Kayak Award" to the team that made the best effort in helping the International Standardization Organization fight off Microsoft's efforts to gain international standardization for its proprietary Office format, OOXML.

The award is named after a key...


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