Back when I was at Microsoft, one of my projects was to add integration of NetMeeting (Microsoft’s online videoconferencing product) into Outlook. In 1998, if I recall correctly, Matthew Bookspan wrote a patent filing for this feature and added my name to it. All I did was review the thing, if that. And lo and behold, the patent was granted in 2002.

Frankly, though, it’s a patent that shouldn’t have been granted. I didn’t think it had a chance at the time, since we didn’t do anything that wasn’t terribly obvious. Now I’m part of the software patent problem.