United States Patent 7,617,530: Rights elevator. Microsoft patent sudo. Or only the gui to have administrator privileges?

Categories: Interwebz

This is ridiculous but at the same time so sad. USPTO accepted the request, and now Microsoft have the patent for that is common know as ‘sudo’. Or only for the gui?
Reading from the patent:

This invention relates to elevating a computer user’s rights.
And after:
Rights elevator 114 is capable of elevating a user’s rights; including permitting a task that is prohibited by a current user’s account or the controlled-access application. The rights elevator may enable a user to elevate his rights from that of a limited-rights account, such as a standard user (e.g., non-admin) account, to a higher-rights account, such as an administrator account. The rights elevator may enable the user to elevate his or her rights through user interface 116, such as by presenting a name of a higher-rights account and enabling submission of an authenticator for that account.
Does Microsoft invented this? Really? I don’t think so.
From the webpage of sudo:
Sudo was first conceived and implemented by Bob Coggeshall and Cliff Spencer around 1980 at the Department of Computer Science at SUNY/Buffalo. It ran on a VAX-11/750 running 4.1BSD. An updated version, credited to Phil Betchel, Cliff Spencer, Gretchen Phillips, John LoVerso and Don Gworek, was posted to the net.sources Usenet newsgroup in December of 1985.

Now, i don’t get if this patent is strictly related to the user interface that permit this temporary “privilege escalation” or if they really have the patent for the concept behind sudo, plus a graphic interface.
This patents are getting ridiculous, really.

  • I/O,
    We have to pay attention reguarding the interpretation of this patent. Technically, no patent shall ban sudo from your *nix box, for it was there long way before any evil company like m$ exited.
    Even if a judge is not aware of specifications of both what m$ patented and SUDO, it may take lots of ignorance to settle courts and make legal issues over legacy.
    Anyway, I’m curious and still wait for world patent authorities (Europe,India,Russia…) to speak out loud on this…


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