Fellow IBMer Jim Conallen pointed me to this report
which indicates that the linked list data structure has been patented. A quick search at the USPTO
verifies that this claim is real: the abstract for this patent may be found here
. The patent was filed on September 26, 2002, the inventor being Ming-Jen Wang of LSI Logic Corporation
, and subsequently US Patent 7028023 was granted last year, on April 11th, 2006.
I absolutely respect every company's and individual's right to aggressively pursue the protection of their intellectual property. IMHO, however, this patent seems to me to overreach: patenting something that seems a) patently obvious and b) a manifestation of prior art does not, IMHO, serve the industry at all. Who at the USPTO
reviewed and accepted this patent, one wonders?
Quote of the day:Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power.