We’ve been sued.

BT, Prodigy U.S. hyperlink patent trial date set: BT owns what it calls the Hidden Page patent, which was filed in the U.S. in 1976, granted in 1989 and isn’t due to expire until 2006, giving the company the intellectual property rights to hyperlink technology. Hyperlinks connect text, images, and other data on the Internet in such a way as to allow a user to click on a highlighted object on a Web page in order to bring up an associated item contained elsewhere on the Web.


As far as I can tell, this patent applies just as well to symbolic links in the UNIX filesystem, Mac OS aliases, Windows shortcuts, anything written in Hypercard, anything with a GUI, menu-driven programs (smit, for example), an index, a b-tree, a detour sign, a table of contents in a printed book — or even a Socratic dialogue, which reveals the argument through questions.

To patent this is absurd.