In one of his weaker weblog entries (every time he starts to pitch Artix, I hardly recognize his writing style anymore), Steve Vinoski mentioned IONA’s patented ART technology. So I took the time to look for it and found U.S. patent # 6,633,923, “Method and system for dynamic configuration of interceptors in a client-server environment”. It’s well-written and an interesting read, but I find it really hard to find the actual invention. This is the abstract:
A computer implemented method of creating and managing one or more interceptors. The method comprises the steps of intrinsically chaining the interceptors, and storing state information, in at least one of the chained interceptors, directed to a reference to the next interceptor. A server computer in a client-server environment that includes a processor configured to generate one or more interceptors and to intriscally chain the interceptors, and a memory associated with at least one of the chained interceptors and configured to store state information directed to a reference to the next interceptor thereof.
Steve has probably forgotten more about distributed computing than I’m ever likely to know — I’m puzzled that he would have to play the patent card (referring to the blog entry only, he’s not among the patent authors). I recognize that with the existing patent legislation you might be forced to patent something before someone else does; still, I find the use of software patents as marketing instruments appalling.