Why BT Claims It Owns the Right to 'Click Here'

Unknown, BBC News, Feb 13, 2002
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I have been covering this in 'In the Ether' but OLDaily readers should also be aware of British Telecom's ridiculous court case to enforce its patent on the hyperlink. Taking U.S. service provider Prodigy to court may force the service provider to change its ways, but most likely will not net BT one penny and will generate a lot of ill will in the process. What really gets me about this case is that (a) if BT really invented the hyperlink in 1975, then they sat on the invention for 20 years doing nothing (which is really shameful), and now stand ready to reap windfall profits from the hard work of others, and (b) had they enforced the patent instead of losing it in their archives, then we would most likely not have a world wide web today... after all, how many people use MiniTel? BT's case is one of the most convincing cases against the abuse of intellectual property I can think of.
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