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MS Patents sudo(8)

Patents: The scraped RSS feeds now include new patent grants and applications by certain companies! Interesting, although given that most developers are advised not to look, not advisable ;)

However, I glanced at the MS one — and immediately spotted this gem: US Patent 6,775,781, filed by Microsoft, is a patent on the concept of ‘a process configured to run under an administrative privilege level’ which, based on authorization information ‘in a data store’, may perform actions at administrative privilege on behalf of a ‘user process’.

This, and the patent claims, perfectly describe the operation of sudo, fundamentally as it’s operated since running on a 4.1BSD VAX-11/750 in 1980.

20 years head start on a patent application — surely that must qualify as prior art ;)