×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Tries to Patent the Internet Again

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the they-don't-own-it-yet dept.

Patents 391

sebFlyte writes "In what is described as yet another example of how patents can kill or inhibit standards, a patent has come to light that was granted to Microsoft in the year 2000 that looks surprisingly similar to IPv6 (the next-gen IP standard that is starting, slowly, to be taken up in some parts of the world). And several Microsoft engineers, named on the patent just happenned to be part of the IPv6 group for the IETF..."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

391 comments

This is different (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031000)

This time they bought the rights to the internet from the creator, Al Gore.

Re:This is different (3, Funny)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031059)

But it's nothing without the key to the lock box that holds the key to the bigger lock box which contains the internet.

Re:This is different (1, Flamebait)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031092)

"This time they bought the rights to the internet from the creator, Al Gore."

Al Gore never claimed to have created the internet. He said, "During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the internet."

I suppose some people might think that he meant that he actually "created" the internet, but those with a working cerebral cortex realize he was talking about supporting the programs and initiatives that made the internet possible.

Even if he had claimed to have "created the internet," it is a lot better than than if he had claimed that a country had WMDs and started a war over it.

Re:This is different (1, Insightful)

MattyCobb (695086) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031130)

Way to miss the point (hint: humor) and try to drag everyone into a politcal debate on GW bashing. GG

Re:This is different (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031180)

GWB is the worst president in the history of the world!

Re:This is different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031237)

He's no Warren G. Harding!

Humor based on a falsehood (4, Insightful)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031291)

"Way to miss the point (hint: humor) and try to drag everyone into a politcal debate on GW bashing."

No, I didn't miss the point. I actually did find it amusing. However, it is a joke based on a falsehood and the joke perpetuates the falsehood.

Falsehoods and Urban Legends spread because individuals don't take the responsibility of double checking information before repeating it. Calling attention to the false premise of your joke is a first step in stopping the propagation of a falsehood. It is a small step, but even the longest journey starts with a single step.

As for GW Bashing, it is relevant because spreading the claim that Al Gore was a serial "exaggerator" was part of the Republican talking points in the 2000 election. The falsehood that Gore had claimed to have "invented" the internet was a popular refrain from Bush supporters. Now it is relevant to point out the immense irony of claiming that in a contest between Bush and Gore, Gore was the liar.

Given revelations about what the Bush administration knew about the claimed purchases of metal tubes and the yellow cake by Iraq, that Bush would seem to be the serial exaggerator, if not outright bald-faced liar.

Re:This is different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031172)

Exactely...

I'm sure half the republicans don't even know what internet is or think it's very evil, due to all the porn online.. and foreign media that speaks bad of them. If it wasn't in contradiction with government control, they'd vote to censored it and allow only access to online guns&ammo shops.

Exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031193)

No, I'm not agreeing. I'm simply trying to help a liberal learn how to spell since the government funded public schools have failed us yet again.

Remind me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031174)

To invite you to my next party.

Re:This is different (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031271)

Al Gore was not in Congress when ARPANET started (1969), nor was he in Congress when the initial contracts to BBN (to create ARPANET) were awarded in 1968. (Nor was he in Congress when the original research funding occured in 1962.) He was not in Congress until 1976. Logically, he took no initiative in creating the Internet because it was already created by the time that he was sworn in, and the term "Internet" (vice ARPANET) was popular by that time. Conclusion: the statement "During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the internet" is false.

Re:This is different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031283)

I took the initiative in creating the code my employers currently use.
Would you consider that a claim of responsibility for inventing the program I just wrote?

You are attempting to get people to accept wide context on a statement in a political debate. Next, you will likely blame conservatives for not agreeing to that wide interpretation of the context. This is politics.. you don't say things without payback... this is the reason Bush constantly looks like an idiot.

Re:This is different (5, Funny)

sh1ftay (822471) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031286)

Defence of democrats... check Generic bash of Bush... check taking a joke too seriously... check Score:5, insightful.. check

You are fighting a losing battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031292)

Those in control routinely re-write history. The Nazi and USSR communist party did this routinely. I would have to say that real history has undergone a massive re-write over the last 5 years.

Re:This is different (-1, Troll)

Ryeng (805454) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031125)

Al Gore didn?t create the internet, however without his contribution it?s doubtful the internet would be what it is today.

Re:This is different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031294)

I can tell you are using IE. Fucking MS smartquotes and all. Knock it off! It'''''''s (notice no ?-marks there) quite annoying.

Re:This is different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031132)

Al Gore won't sell it. Not without a parental warning label from Tipper Gore.

I can't wait to see... (4, Funny)

hazah (807503) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031005)

if one of those succeeds one day. I'm sure that when that day comes, I'll also see the general population running around aimlessly, in all directions, bumping into eachother.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031007)

How exactly did the patent inhibit the development or usage of IPv6?

What were they thinking? (5, Insightful)

igny (716218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031015)

Is it really possible that such patents may be enforceable?

Re:What were they thinking? (5, Insightful)

Sengoku666 (818137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031098)

These days it would seem that if you have enough money anything is enforcable.

Re:What were they thinking? (3, Informative)

PHPgawd (744675) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031110)

If the patent is based on one or more in-process IETF standards, then the short answer is "no way". There's no way they'd even grant their patents let alone let them enforce them.

Rambus did it first! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031024)

They tried to steal DRAM, I guess Microsoft figured that it was worth a try for the Internet.

Slashdot and US Patent Office? (5, Funny)

XeroPurpose (868997) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031027)

You see... the US Patent Office is alot like the Slashdot editors... more often than not, they get duped...

Should we patent the transistor!? (5, Funny)

0xdeaddead (797696) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031030)

While there is still time! PNP & NPN!!!!

Re:Should we patent the transistor!? (1)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031155)

I claim MOSFET and JFET!

Oh, and diodes too.

Re:Should we patent the transistor!? (1)

0xdeaddead (797696) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031214)

DAM YOU!! well I claim Capacitors, resistors & Vacume Tubes!

Re:Should we patent the transistor!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031296)

I'm patenting solder. Now license me, biatches!

Re:Should we patent the transistor!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031186)

There's only about 6 people on /. that get this joke I bet. Sorry I'm out of mod points for you. :)

Let them! (2, Interesting)

thundercatslair (809424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031040)

If they actually recived it, what could they do with it? I know next to nothing about patents, but I can't think they could do anything with it.

IANAL, but I think Linux would be a good example (1, Insightful)

jnetsurfer (637137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031129)

Now I am far from a lawyer, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that if Microsoft successfully patented IPv6, then they could demand that they get compensated for any implementation of ipv6. Which means that to use ipv6 under Linux, for example, you'd need to play royalties to Microsoft.

Wouldn't Microsoft like that? People who choose Free Software still have to pay Microsoft for the right to use it...

Given that ActiveDirectory uses DNS... (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031047)

I'm surprised that they haven't patented DNS.

Re:Given that ActiveDirectory uses DNS... (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031211)


I'm surprised that they haven't patented DNS.


Apple probably has already patented it - you can search here [uspto.gov]

umm.. they're trying to secure all IPv6 software, (4, Interesting)

peculiarmethod (301094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031048)

12. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions for performing the steps recited in claim 1.

if I read this correctly, and I doubt I do (I hope I don't), they are trying to secure even CDs, floppies, usb cards.. anything that contains code that allows the negotiation of an ip address for the network running the IPv6 'like' protocol. whaaaa??!

Re:umm.. they're trying to secure all IPv6 softwar (3, Insightful)

kansas1051 (720008) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031136)

You are ocrrect that the claims of a patent determine its scope. however, the claim you cited is a dependent claim [the ... of claim 1..] so it will include all the limitations of claim 1. Thus, to infringe, a program must at a minimum include: 1. In a host that has been connected to a network that does not have an IP address server and is not connected with any network having an IP address server, a method for automatically generating an IP address for the host, without another component of the network being required to transmit, to the host over the network, an IP address of said other component, the method comprising the steps of: without the host having received over the network any IP address of another component of the network, selecting a valid network identifying value as a network identifying portion of the IP address for the host; without the host having received over the network said any IP address of another component of the network, generating a host identifying portion of the IP address for the host based on information available to the host; and testing the generated IP address for the host for conflicting usage by another host on the network and determining that no conflicting usage of the generated IP address exists. A program that doesnt perform each of the above steps, or their equivilent, would not infringe this claim, or any claims that depend therefrom, such as the dependent claim you quoted.

Re:umm.. they're trying to secure all IPv6 softwar (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031232)

Great cow of Moscow! You know that linebreaks are your friend, right?

Re:umm.. they're trying to secure all IPv6 softwar (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031253)

You are reading this line incorrectly. It is not a claim for any sort of computing device. It is merely one of several (at least 12) points about their invention. These dozen clauses are ANDed, not ORed.

Back in the day, patents were not allowed on any sort of software at all. So, the convention arose of describing the entire process of the invention, including its realization on a general purpose computer running some software. Without this description of a concrete implementation, the patent application would get rejected. This text is essentially boilerplate for inventions that happen to be implemented with a general-purpose machine and some peripherals rather than a dedicated single-purpose machine with a hardwired "program".

There needs to be a penalty... (4, Insightful)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031055)

There needs to be some sort of penalty for filing fraudulent patent applications like this, and it needs to be something more than financial. Microsoft should be prohibited filing patents for a period of time. Ten years sound reasonable?

Re:There needs to be a penalty... (1, Insightful)

servoled (174239) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031097)

Do you have any proof that this is fraudulent?

Re:There needs to be a penalty... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031140)

Well, membership on the committee that invented IPv6 without actually having permission from said committee to claim technology being discussed as your own.

Yes, I'd say that would be pretty fraudulent.

Re:There needs to be a penalty... (2, Informative)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031153)

RTFA - they allegedly withheld prior art documents.

(yes not "proof" but as close as you can get without some kind of official investigation. after all, I can't proove to you right now that the Earth goes round the Sun but you know if you look you'll find it.)

Re:There needs to be a penalty... (1)

mas5353 (870037) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031178)

Nah... no way Bill Gate's frail frame would stand up in prison Not even the white-collar flavor! I can hear the resounding calls...

Fresh Fish!

Re:There needs to be a penalty... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031227)

There needs to be some sort of penalty for filing fraudulent patent applications like this, and it needs to be something more than financial

There are certainly laws against patent fraud. Whether the offense carries jail time usually depends on other issues. In exteme cases RICO has been brought into the picture.

Screw you guys, we're going home. (5, Funny)

rokzy (687636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031057)

Let's all make our own internet and not invite Microsoft. It'll be great. With hookers. And gambling.

In fact... screw the gambling.

Re:Screw you guys, we're going home. (4, Funny)

EverDense (575518) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031100)

Let's all make our own internet and not invite Microsoft. It'll be great. With hookers. And gambling.

In fact... screw the gambling.


Okay, sounds good, you screw "the gambling".
That'll leave more hookers for me.

Re:Screw you guys, we're going home. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031280)

A linux users-only Internet?

Least. Fun. Web. EVER.

This is a patent on software (4, Informative)

Michael Hunt (585391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031063)

Based upon my cursory reading of the patent, it appears to be just the sort of thing that the EU keeps throwing out, again and again.

Admittedly in WIPO countries (since the patent is registered in the .us and .us patent law allows these kinds of shenanigans) royalties may have to be paid, but the EU parliament's reasonably clear stance on such things should go a long way towards making sure that this patent is a dead duck in a lot of the civilised world.

Regardless, this sort of patent tomfoolery should be illegal. WIPO should (although this will never happen) declare a patent unenforcable under the terms of the Berne Convention should said patent have been undisclosed during a supposedly 'open' working group.

Not that this sort of behavior is exactly unexpected from MS. It's what killed MARID.

Which TLD are you from? (3, Funny)

Cap'n Steve (771146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031273)

"(since the patent is registered in the .us and .us patent law allows these kinds of shenanigans)"

You just referred to an entire country by its domain. Wow, just wow.

I'd like a vacation in England, but I can't seem to find the .uk anymore. Is .co a British state or what?

We win (0)

Eh_Steve (851086) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031064)

We are Microsoft
Resistance is Futile
You will be assimilated.

Re:We win (2, Interesting)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031142)

Dude, that is all large gluttonous corporations. Their leaders suffer from avarice. The problem is, at some point, it is no longer about a company providing people with a service, it is about one man, or a small group, that gets very greedy. It is what happened to Enron, Arthur Anderson Consulting, World Com, and what is happening in boardrooms all across the USA. It is where competition stops producing new products, or lowering price, but where corporations get so big they use every resource they have to kill the competition.

BTW, didn't the courts order MS to be broken into 2 divisions, the OS division and the applications division? I thought that was going to be the solution.

Re:We win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031187)

Dear Microsoft,
Just remember... in Soviet Russia, Internet tries to patent YOU!
-Anonymous Coward

They'll never enforce{}^^&&[NO CARRIER] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031067)

IPv6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031079)

If this is how IPv6 determines an IP address it is a worse designed protocol than I had thought. Seriously, who came up with this crap?

Unfortunate Precedent: Rambus & JEDEC (5, Interesting)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031081)

I would like to say that this has no chance of suceeding, but unfotunately there's already one example of a company (Rambus) having their people attending a standards committee (JEDEC) in public while working to patent the same technologies in private. And they almost got away with it. [perkinscoie.com]

Re:Unfortunate Precedent: Rambus & JEDEC (3, Informative)

Michael Hunt (585391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031103)

A much closer precedent for this sort of tomfoolery was the IETF's MARID working group.

For those of you who don't remember, Microsoft allied themselves (and their Sender ID standard) with Meng Weng Wong/PoBox's SPF standard, to create a supposed uber-standard known as 'Caller ID' (SPF v2). Later on, it came to light that MS owned key patents on many of the methodologies which SPF2 and Sender ID used, and their patent license was abhorrent to many of the working group's participants. The IETF then disbanded the working group.

I'm working from memory, so I don't have much in the way of sources, but googling for "Microsoft MARID" should turn over a few stones.

Re:Unfortunate Precedent: Rambus & JEDEC (1)

Michael Hunt (585391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031127)

I hate nitpicking my own posts, but I got the names of MS's two standards backwards:

'Sender ID' was the later, merged-with-SPF standard.
'Caller ID' was their own, patent-encumbered proposal.

Sorry. That is all.

Re:Unfortunate Precedent: Rambus & JEDEC (4, Informative)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031173)

What do you mean Rambus *ALMOST* got away with it?

Here's a news story from 2 days ago:
"Chipmaker Infineon Technologies and memory chip designer Rambus have reached a settlement in their closely watched patent infringement case.

Under the two-year agreement, announced Monday, Infineon will pay Rambus nearly $47 million for a global license to all existing and future Rambus patents and patent applications for use in Infineon products."

Microsoft Tries to Patent the Internet Again (2, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031101)

This is why some things should remain in the public domain. It is like Joe's Brick and Morter company trying to patent roads, what MS is doing.

There are some things that only the public, aka government can do, that we can't trust private companies with.

I bet if government ran the phone companies and telecom, we could get service for pennies on the dollar. How much cost does it take to lay down the infrastructure? How much does it take to pay executives rediculous bonuses? Lets cut out the greed. And at the same time there will be public review.

Re:Microsoft Tries to Patent the Internet Again (1)

jnetsurfer (637137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031184)

I bet if government ran the phone companies and telecom, we could get service for pennies on the dollar.

Yeah, but what would that service be like? Come on, we're talking about the government here! I don't trust the government to develop innovative features!

Besides, it's competition that drives successful business. If there's three or four large companies vying for customers, then they're all going to try and top the others, by offering better service, higher quality, more features, etc. It can be argued that this competition drives a large number of the innovations in technology. If the government handled all the phone service, they wouldn't care if we (the consumer) were satisfied or not -- they're just collect their money.

In the old days, Corporations were disbanded (2, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031106)

for acting against the common interest.

Their charters were revoked.

Nowadays, this no longer happens, sadly.

However, considering that IPv6 is by virtue of creation a Government-owned (and hence Public) Patent, it would only be possible for MSFT to have an enforceable patent on a particular application or device that uses IPv6. Naturally, all this assumes (incorrectly) that the government will take action to enforce its rights and patents, which appears not to be the case in the USA.

And the award goes to... (3, Funny)

mas5353 (870037) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031124)

The award for creating a sentence with the most obsessive use of IP goes to: M$! ...for an entry in their insidious attempt [freepatentsonline.com] at trying to patent the internet. As quoted: "assigning an IP address from the IP address server to the host when an IP address server is available over the IP network; and immediately discontinuing use of the generated IP address when an assigned IP address is received from an IP address server available over the network." Oh man... I hope that this isn't copyrighted because I could get sued!

obligatory remark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031150)

Dear Microsoft,
Just remember.. in Soviet Russia, Internet tries to patent YOU!
-Anonymous Coward

Re:obligatory remark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031185)

In Korea, only old people patent the Interent(s) in Japan.

Can't see why it's similar to IPv6? (4, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031160)

The patent abstract:
A method and computer product for automatically generating an IP network address that facilitates simplified network connection and administration for small-scale IP networks without IP address servers, such as those found in a small business or home network environment. First, a proposed IP address is generated by selecting a network identifying portion (sometimes known as an IP network prefix) while deterministically generating the host identifying portion based on information available to the IP host. For example, the IEEE 802 Ethernet address found in the network interface card may be used with a deterministic hashing function to generate the host identifying portion of the IP address. Next, the generated IP address is tested on the network to assure that no existing IP host is using that particular IP address. If the generated IP address already exists, then a new IP address is generated, otherwise, the IP host will use the generated IP address to communicate over the network. While using the generated IP address, if an IP address server subsequently becomes available, the host will conform to IP address server protocols for receiving an assigned IP address and gradually cease using the automatically generated IP address.

Now that bear pretty much zero similarity to IPv6, which is among others: expanding address space over IPv4 while being somewhat backwards compatible for a transition period, improved IP packet modularity for less overhead, new hierarchical infrastructure for improved routing support, built-in IPSec, improved quality-of-service (QoS) support, improved support for ad hoc networking, and improved support for extensibility.

That abstract seems to me that this is... well, something entirely different?

Is it even a protocol?? "A method and computer product for automatically generating an IP network address"... Huh??

Can someone clarify the huge similarities here to me that makes this big news?

Re:Can't see why it's similar to IPv6? (5, Informative)

Michael Hunt (585391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031252)

Nope. Read the IPv6 specs.

IPv6 has an autoconfiguration mechanism whereby an IPv6 autoconfiguration server will spit out a 64-bit prefix (all local networks are /64s in IPv6), and a host will create an EUI-64 address to postpend to it, as a deterministic function of the interface's layer 2 address.

I'd find the RFC but i'm too lazy. Search for 'IPv6 autoconfiguration' on rfc-editor.org or google.

Have a nice day.

Oh Darn (1)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031167)


Who do I make the royalty check out to for my Solaris and OpenBSD installs that have had IPv6 capability for years?

For the lazy: patent text (5, Informative)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031191)

Inventors: Ford; Peter S. (Carnation, WA);Bahl; Pradeep (Redmond, WA);Khaki; Jawad Mohamed J. (Redmond, WA);Burns; Greg (Carnation, WA);Beeson; Frank J. (Seattle, WA)

Abstract: A method and computer product for automatically generating an IP network address that facilitates simplified network connection and administration for small-scale IP networks without IP address servers, such as those found in a small business or home network environment. First, a proposed IP address is generated by selecting a network identifying portion (sometimes known as an IP network prefix) while deterministically generating the host identifying portion based on information available to the IP host. For example, the IEEE 802 Ethernet address found in the network interface card may be used with a deterministic hashing function to generate the host identifying portion of the IP address. Next, the generated IP address is tested on the network to assure that no existing IP host is using that particular IP address. If the generated IP address already exists, then a new IP address is generated, otherwise, the IP host will use the generated IP address to communicate over the network. While using the generated IP address, if an IP address server subsequently becomes available, the host will conform to IP address server protocols for receiving an assigned IP address and gradually cease using the automatically generated IP address.

Assignee: Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA)
Application Number: 57135
Filing Date: April 8, 1998
Publication Date: August 8, 2000

Claims:

What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:

1. In a host that has been connected to a network that does not have an IP address server and is not connected with any network having an IP address server, a method for automatically generating an IP address for the host, without another component of the network being required to transmit, to the host over the network, an IP address of said other component, the method comprising the steps of:

without the host having received over the network any IP address of another component of the network, selecting a valid network identifying value as a network identifying portion of the IP address for the host;

without the host having received over the network said any IP address of another component of the network, generating a host identifying portion of the IP address for the host based on information available to the host;

and testing the generated IP address for the host for conflicting usage by another host on the network and determining that no conflicting usage of the generated IP address exists.

2. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the network identifying portion of the generated IP address is chosen to be 10.

3. A method as recited in claim 1, further comprising the steps of: determining that an IP address server is not present prior to selecting the network identifying portion of the IP address; and ascertaining if an IP address server later becomes present over the network.

4. A method as recited in claim 3, further comprising the steps of: assigning an IP address from the IP address server to the host when an IP address server is available over the IP network; and immediately discontinuing use of the generated IP address when an assigned IP address is received from an IP address server available over the network.

5. A method as recited in claim 3, further comprising the steps of: assigning an address from the IP address server to the host when an IP address server is available over the network; and gradually discontinuing use of the generated IP address when an assigned IP address is received from an IP address server available over the network.

6. A method as recited in claim 3, further comprising the step of assigning an IP address from the IP address server to the host when an IP address server is available over the network and the host using both the generated IP address and the assigned IP address.

7. A method as recited in claim 1, further comprising the step of monitoring the network for conflicting IP address usage between the generated IP address and the address of another host.

8. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein the generated IP address has been generated after the host has previously generated a first IP address and has determined that the first IP address was already in use by another host on the network.

9. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein testing the generated IP address further comprises sending a message using the generated IP address and waiting for a response from another host that is currently using the generated IP address.

10. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein an IEEE 802 address of a host network interface card is used as the information available to the host for generating the host identifying portion of the generated IP address.

11. A method as recited in claim 1 wherein generating the host portion of the generated IP address further comprises the use of a deterministic hashing function.

12. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions for performing the steps recited in claim 1.

13. In a host that has been connected to a network that initially does not have an IP address server and is not connected with any network having an IP address server, a method for automatically generating an IP address for the host, without another network component being required to transmit, to the host over the network, an IP address of said other network component, the method comprising the steps of:

after the host has been connected to the network, initially determining that an IP address server is not available over the network;

selecting a valid network identifying value as a network identifying portion of the IP address for the host without the host having received the valid network identifying value from another component of the network;

deterministically generating a host identifying portion of the IP address for the host based on information available to the host, the information available to the host being information other than a host identifying portion of an IP address for any other host;

testing the generated IP address for the host for usage conflict by another host on the network and determining that no conflicting usage of the generated IP address exists;

and ascertaining if an IP address server later becomes available over the network.

14. A method as recited in claim 13, wherein the network identifying portion of the generated IP address is chosen to be 10.

15. A method as recited in claim 13, further comprising the steps of: requesting and receiving an assigned IP address from the IP address server when an IP address server becomes available over the network; and immediately discontinuing use of the generated IP address when the assigned IP address is received from the IP address server available over the network.

16. A method as recited in claim 13, further comprising the steps of: requesting and receiving an assigned IP address from the IP address server when an IP address server becomes available over the network; and gradually discontinuing use of the generated IP address when the assigned IP address is received from the IP address server available over the network.

17. A method as recited in claim 16, further comprising the steps of: monitoring the generated IP address for conflicting usage while the host is using the generated IP address; and signaling an error condition if there is conflicting usage with another host on the network while the host is using the generated IP address.

18. A method as recited in claim 17, wherein an IEEE 802 address of a host network interface card is the information available to the host and the IEEE 802 address is placed into a deterministic hashing function for generating the host identifying portion of the generated IP address.

19. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions for performing the steps recited in claim 18.

20. A method as recited in claim 13, further comprising the steps of requesting and receiving an assigned IP address from an IP address server when the IP address server becomes available over the network; and using both the generated IP address and the assigned IP address.

21. A method as recited in claim 13, further comprising the steps of: monitoring the generated IP address for conflicting usage while the host is using the generated IP address; and regenerating the generated IP address if there is conflicting usage with another host on the network while the host is using the generated IP address.

22. A method as recited in claim 13, wherein the generated IP address has been generated after the host has previously generated a first IP address and has determined that the first IP address was already in use by another host on the network.

23. A method as recited in claim 13, wherein testing the generated IP address further comprises the steps of: sending a message using the generated IP address; and waiting for a response from a host that is currently using the generated IP address.

24. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions for automatically generating a host IP address in a host that has been connected to a network that does not have an IP address server initially without another component of the network being required to transmit an IP address of the other component to the host, said computer-executable instructions comprising:

means for communicating over the network; after the host has been connected to the network, means for determining that an IP address server is not currently available over the network;

means for consistently selecting the network identifying portion of the host IP address from valid network identifying portion values without the host having received the valid network identifying portion values from another component of the network;

means for deterministically generating the host identifying portion of the host IP address based on information available to the host;

means for testing the generated host IP address for conflicting usage by another host on the network before using the generated host IP address, the information available to the host being information other than a host identifying portion of an IP address for any other host;

means for monitoring the generated host IP address for conflicting usage by another host on the network while the generated host IP address is being used;

means for ascertaining if the IP address server later becomes available over the network;

means for requesting and receiving a new IP address from the IP address server when the IP address server becomes available over the network;

and means for gradually discontinuing use of the generated host IP address when the IP address server becomes available over the network.

25. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions as recited in claim 24, wherein the network identifying portion of the IP generated IP address is chosen to be 10.

26. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions as recited in claim 24, wherein the means for testing the generated host IP address comprises sending a message using the generated host IP address and waiting for a response from a different host that is currently using the generated host IP address.

27. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions as recited in claim 24, wherein the means for generating the host identifying portion of the generated host IP address comprises placing an IEEE 802 address of a host network interface card into a deterministic hashing function.

28. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions as recited in claim 24, wherein the computer-executable instructions further comprise means for regenerating the generated host IP address if testing the generated host IP address results in conflicting usage with another host on the network.

29. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions as recited in claim 24, wherein the computer-executable instructions further means for signaling an error condition if there is conflicting usage with another host on the network while the host is using the generated host IP address.

30. In a host that has been connected to a network that does not have an IP address server and is not connected with any network having an address server, a method for automatically generating an IP address for the host, without another component of the network being required to transmit, to the host over the network, an IP address of said other component, the method comprising the steps of:

without the host having received over the network any IP address of another component of the network, selecting a valid network identifying value as a network identifying portion of the IP address for the host; and without the host having received over the network said any IP address of another component of the network, generating a host identifying portion of the IP address for the host based on information available to the host.

31. A method as recited in claim 30, further comprising the steps of: determining that an IP address server is not present prior to selecting the network identifying portion of the IP address; and ascertaining if an IP address server later becomes present over the network.

32. A method as recited in claim 30, further comprising the steps of: assigning an IP address from the IP address server to the host when an IP address server is available over the IP network; and immediately discontinuing use of the generated IP address when an assigned IP address is received from an IP address server over the network.

33. A method as recited in claim 30, further comprising the steps of: assigning an IP address from the IP address server to the host when an IP address server is available over the IP network; and gradually discontinuing use of the generated IP address when an assigned IP address is received from an IP address server available over the network.

34. A method as recited in claim 30, further comprising the step of testing the generated IP address for the host for conflicting usage by another host on the network and determining that no conflicting usage of the generated IP address exists.

35. A method as recited in claim 30, wherein the generated IP address has been generated after the host has previously generated a first IP address and has determined that the first IP address was already in use by another host on the network.

Sounds like automatic static addressing (2, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031203)

Wow the just patented the network startup scripts
on unix machines.

What next? (1)

Patrick Mannion (782290) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031204)

Are they gonna claim that they owned APRANET? Someday, Microsoft will own the IETF, Internet Society and W3C. We'll be screwed.

Well if that's so... (1)

spaeschke (774948) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031207)

The internet will be taken over "conquered" if you will by a master race of Microsoft software engineers. It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume internet users or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; Microsoft will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new monopolistic overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted Slashdot personality that I could be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground Excel, Access, and Dot.net cubicle farms.

Missed the boat (4, Informative)

pavera (320634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031217)

Ok, the article, the pubpat guy, the slashdot editors, everyone's missed the boat on this one.

While this patent is not quite brilliant, it's not ipv6, this is a patent on the "automatic addressing" function in windows ME, 2k, xp, etc, where if your network card has link, but can't find a dhcp server the system auto-assigns an address from like a 169 or something subnet that MS owns.

This patent has absolutely nothing to do with ipv6 further, I believe MS was the first to do anything like this, even now they are (unless maybe apple does it now too... but I don't think they do either). Anyway I've never seen the feature actually be useful, mostly it is an annoyance, but it's not ipv6

am I missing something? (3, Insightful)

spir0 (319821) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031226)

but upon glancing over the patent, the abstract completely contradicts the complaints that this patent has received.

It is nothing like IPv6. It sounds like a zero-config DHCP.

Re:am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031277)

Stop reading the articles and just post complaints dammit ;)

Sure, just like TCP/IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12031235)

One of the things that bugged me the most was the lumping of TCP/IP protocol under Microsoft standards (circa win98)... What gall!

Imagine, if you will, co-opting a standard that existed 25 years before you were born!

or... (1)

santakrooz (517854) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031245)

it's just a case where Microsoft spent resources developing nextgen protocol ideas, patented them and then donated those resources to the standards effort to build a standards based nextgen protocol... why does every single thing that MS does, have to be spun as an evil plot?

of course they are going to patent their work... sheesh. should they not be involved in developing standards because of it?

Software Patents Would Not Be So Bad (3, Informative)

MCTFB (863774) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031254)

If not for the fact that they lasted so long. Hey, if Microsoft did not patent the internet, then some other company which exists solely for the purpose of extorting money out of other companies with patent lawsuit threats would have done it.

I myself have been personally involved in the patent process for reasons I can't mention here, but I have learned through it all that more times than not companies such as Microsoft file or acquire patents for defensive reasons much more often than for the purposes of bullying the small guy with threats of litigation.

I mean, what if Microsoft or Amazon.com didn't file some of these ridiculous patents and somebody else did, then sued Microsoft or Amazon.com or [INSERT GIANT MULTINATIONAL SOFTWARE COMPANY HERE], and this company was able to extort millions, perhaps billions of dollars from these big companies by abusing the patent system. I mean, if you are a patent-squatter what is the point of wasting your time suing a small fry when you can go for the Big Kahuna.

But the worst thing about all of this is that unless you defend your patent in court, you lose it. So, whether Microsoft or Amazon.com wants to defend their patents or not against a company which may have technology that is related to their patent, they are forced to sue those companies anyways.

In addition to health care costs for businesses, high corporate taxes, weak anti-trust laws as well as poor enforcement of them, I would say our ass-backwards patent system is one of the major poisons of starting a technology business in the United States these days.

I am no fan of oursourcing myself, but as a business owner of a software company myself, you sometimes have to ask yourself how the hell are you supposed to compete in the world marketplace when the laws and regulations in your own country AND THE ENFORCEMENT OF THOSE LAWS AND REGULATIONS is rigged entirely in favor of multinational corporations which really don't even have any national loyalty to any particular nation, yet due to the weakness of democratic republics around the world where votes can easily be bought and sold, small business owners in the technology industry either have to play by the rigged rules of the big companies or not play at all.

Technology patents may seem like a huge problem when it comes to stifling innovation in the United States and around the world, but unfortunately they are just a small problem in a giant sea of problems that exist due to well-intentioned ideas such as patents being corrupted by giant amoral companies and the soulless people who run them.

I patent... (3, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12031262)

misreading an article about patents, and then submitting the erroneous conclusions to Slashdot who will then exercise their editorial bias against patents and post it as news.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...