On Oracle's CMS Patent

The patent abstract explains how a Web CMS works:

A web site creation and maintenance system permits distributed control and centralized management of a web site. The physical implementation of the web site resides on a database maintained by a database administrator. The web site system permits a site administrator to construct the overall structure, design and style of the web site. This allows for a comprehensive design as well as a common look and feel for the web site. The web site system permits content for the web site to originate from multiple content contributors...

This is all clearly stuff that Midgard CMS and other CMSs have been doing for a long time before the patent was filed. There was even an Oracle port of Midgard available at almost the same time the Oracle guys applied for their patent.

Normally ludicrous American software patents like this wouldn't worry me, but now that they will also start to apply in European Union, it is a bit scarier.

Midgard CMS was released to public in May 8th 1999, and the Oracle patent was filed in March 31st 2000, so we have easily provable prior art.

There is some discussion on midgard-user on what to do about this. One way would be to approach The Public Patent Foundation. As the problem applies to all database-based content management systems and not only Midgard, it might even make sense for OSCOM act on it.

No ePatents!

Read more Decoupled CMS posts.