Microsoft has bought a new ludicrous patent to add to its collection. That of course is not quite how the company describes US patent 5,655,089 - according to Redmond Innovation Central: "The patent protects electronic payments technology that will be integrated into future Microsoft initiatives."
The Microsoft trial has shuffled closer to the centre stage of the presidential election, following an attack on the US government and the case by Senator Slade Gorton. Gorton getting stuck into the DoJ isn't exactly news; as the senator for Washington, Microsoft's home state, he's been defending our boys' freedom to innovate stoutly all along the way - but this time it's kind of official, making the trial much more likely to turn into a stick for the Bush campaign to beat Gore with.
AnalysisThe RIAA's announcement last week that it would develop a digital music ID system probably is the last desperate throw of an outflanked and outmoded industry, but it'll likely get worse before it gets better. The RIAA tries to pitch its system as a positive move for "future on-line music commerce," but there's a more ominous quote a little further down the food chain: "Very soon, licence terms will be associated with the digital information asset itself, and content protection technology will require that consumers comply with those terms."