Over at Scripting News, Dave Winer notes “Apple is patenting our inventions, again. Oy.”
Software patents are a horrible idea. A patent is a monopoly on an idea. If every original thinker can patent their ideas, no one can be allowed to think. This is nonsense. Apple should be able to copyright their expression of the idea (in this case, some very unoriginal and derivative ideas of displaying XML, in my opinion) so that their work cannot be directly copied, but they cannot be allowed to have exclusive ownership of the *idea* of displaying some variants of XML in a browser. I, for one, do not have the resources to engage in a patent dispute with Apple over my RSS reader. This creates a chilling effect in an industry where all vendors are demanding the Right to Innovate.