What is POFP?

Why do lawyers refer to long documents as briefs and
18-year olds as infants? Why do they use so much Latin when so few of their
clients are Ancient Romans? Is it a conspiracy?


Party of the First Part has the answers! Check out the Website for the
Legalese Hall of Shame; a glossary of legal words linked to Adam Freedman's
columns; tips on writing legal documents in plain English; and more!



Saturday, February 23, 2008

OOXML? LOL!

Slashdot reports continuing controversy over the confusing language of the "Open Specification Promise" that Microsoft imposes on users of its Open Office XML (OOXML). The OSP, which was originally titled "covenant not to sue" includes a promise by Microsoft not to assert certain patent claims against the user (to figure out which claims, one has to go through a long list of specifications and then relate them back to whatever Microsoft patents exist in the world). In return for Microsoft's "personal promise" not to sue you, you are deemed to make some promises back to Microsoft.

As Slashdot says: Developers wishing to make use of OOXML are unlikely to understand the complex legal language of the Open Specification Promise, and such a document - being neither a release nor a contract - has never been tested in court.

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