Journalists or rumor mongers?

Umm … what gives with story leads like this: Apple blunder gives Gates iPod royalty?

The story is here. And here. And other places – it’s probably off the wire.

Now, the reporter knows that Microsoft isn’t claiming or getting any royalties on the iPod (yet).

She also knows – or should – that many patents are first rejected, then refined, resubmitted, and accepted. And finally, the reporter should also know that Microsoft filed the patent much later than Apple actually came out with the product … meaning that prior art exists and would be a strong deterrent to any royalty claim.

So the title of the article is patently bogus. It’s just a rabble-rousing, wolf-crying, attention-seeking, dishonest ploy.

[ update ]

Here’s a more complete summary.