Friday, 7 May 2010

Patently Ridiculous

Imagine you had an existing Java data model---a plain old one not based on EMF---that you wanted to map to an EMF model so you could take advantage of all of EMF's cool features. If your data model were a simple bean-style model, you could easily induce an Ecore model from its API; after all, that's what EMF's @model annotations do. You could then easily map instances of the plain old Java model to instances of your EMF model, perhaps using Java reflection, bringing together the old and the new.


What an exciting and innovative idea, you would exclaim to yourself, and to those around you, as you jumped for joy, reveling in your own brilliance.


Sorry to disappoint you, but don't bother. IBM has patented that: 7506303. The lesson learned? Just because something is simple and obvious doesn't mean you can't patent it. So run, don't walk, to your nearest patent lawyer, turn your obvious ideas into incomprehensible legal babel, file a claim, and then sue someone's assets right off their balance sheet, perhaps with the help of a patent troll. Surely such patented ridiculousness serves primarily to suck the lifeblood of the software sector much like collateralized debt objects did the vital stuff of the financial sector.