Patents are a necessary evil. Although the dust seems to be settling now, the technology world has had a pretty haphazard time with patent claims and lawsuits. And now we have another such case.

A developer that goes by the name of Rob Morris claims that he contacted Microsoft to sell a browser technology, but the software titan stole his idea, and is now making millions every year — thanks to royalties from Android manufacturers.

He is the creator of what is called V_Graph, which is a technology that can be described as web widgets that integrate web content into custom applications.

Anyway, he contacted Redmond in 1996, but the company quickly turned down his offer, before developing a similar toolset, for which it was granted a patent in 2000.

This was soon implemented in Internet Explorer 3.0, and then, obviously, Android.

Rob has also launched a petition on Indiegogo to raise funds via crowdfunding to fight Microsoft in court and ask for a reexamination. The company is yet to respond to these claims, but we will find out if the software titan decides to comment on this development.

In the meantime, Business Insider has followed upon this, with a few more interesting insights. As I was saying, patents are a necessary evil, indeed.

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  1. Pretty serious accusation. I would be disappointed if Microsoft did this, but corporations can get away with it. They’ll just settle out of court and pay the man off if they don’t have a case.

  2. Bad news for Microsoft. The thing I’m more fascinated with, though, is the fact that this guy had this kind of technological idea in 1996. Impressive to me!

  3. Mike Greenway / June 29, 2014 at 9:12 am /Reply

    Question everything. Where are these Applications today that incorporate “Web widgets” and are making Microsoft millions of dollars? What is the definition of a Web Widget?

    IF Microsoft stooled the Idea in 1996 and put in in IE 3 (released Aug 13 1996) almost immediately, why did it take them 4 years to patent it? That not typical MS.

    Why await 18 years to bring it up?
    This post has few facts about the past events in question, just quoting the unsubstantiated 18 year old story, with no information on an apposing view.

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