August 17, 2001

Infected by bad patents

Author: JT Smith

Suppose that a single corporation were able to monopolize the computer antivirus market. According to this story at the San Francisco Chronicle, McAfee might soon become that monopoly. The company was recently approvied for US Patent#6,266,774, which describes "a "method and system for securing, managing or optimizing a personal computer," and that nicludes hardware/software diagnostics, virus scanning, automatic software updates, and just about any other computer-related maintenance tasks. The McAfee case is used as an opener for the story, and later an example of why the U.S. patent system is in dire need of an overhaul.
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