By John

CNET News is reporting that Microsoft is seeking a patent in New Zealand and
the EU to cover the XML format used by Word to store documents.
Specifically, the patent would cover the way word processors other than the
one used to create the document can access the file. They want to protect
the methods used to access the document's schema and force makers of
alternative word processors to either pay MS a royalty, or deny them the
ability to access documents created using Word.

Ultimately what this would mean is that if someone sends you a Word
document, you would not be able to open it if your software vendor didn't
pay the MS tax or was on MS's **** list.

The US Patent Office has no record of such a filing in this country. Why MS
would pick the EU and NZ as a place to file a patent is a mystery to me.
Maybe they felt no-one would notice it.


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0000AD1D. The current application will be terminated.