[Eric Larson:QOTD] Patenting The Smiley Face + Why It May Not Be Such A Bad Idea

by M. David Peterson

[2:15pm] elarson: xmlhacker: you should patent the use of capital letters in association with the ':D' emoticon during communication in order to protect your communications intellectual property ;-)

The above quote comes from Eric Larson in a recent IRC conversation after his recent post on "Patent Reform" ensued a conversation related to the 1-Click ordeal from 7 years ago (I was working on the Microsoft Passport team at the time, so those aware of that overall situation will understand what I mean when I say I had a first hand look at just how much fun dealing with the ugliness of the patent system truly is.) Those of you who have ever exchanged an email with me or have been a recipient of an email from one of the mailing lists I have posted to might recognize what Eric is referring to. For those who have not, at the bottom of all of my email communications you will find the following at the beginning of my signature,


... which is intended to represent my first and middle initial, my first initial being implicitly bound to xmlns:M="urn:publicid:Peterson:Patronymic+Surname:EN:1.2" (<- If you don't get it, don't bother asking. It's not all that clever *OR* funny ;-)) using an XML-ish namespace extension-based syntax.

Of course to those of you who have emoticons turned on in your email reader the above will translate to,