Apple patents a Maximus-alike keyboard, iMac MacBook dock

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| We can't really imagine Apple has this pair of "products" prepped and waiting
| in the wings of Macworld, but it's still fun to look.

Microsoft patents Wish Lists

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| Microsoft has been granted a patent for electronic Wish Lists. The patent,
| 7,315,834, was filed in April 2005 and granted on New Year's Day.

Doug mentioned this the other day.


If you hate Microsoft you’ll really hate this: Patent app calls for “enforcing”
ad playback within downloaded multimedia files

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| From my read of a Microsoft Patent application just published today,
| technology is being proposed that will make it impossible for users who
| download multimedia files to play these files unless advertising messages
| inserted within these files are viewed. *

Microsoft patents Tivo for commercial breaks

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| Microsoft has patented the idea of inserting fresh advertisements
| into old recordings on personal video recorders, to ensure you see
| today's ads even if you're watching a recording from last week.

In Microsoft Patent App, TV Watches You

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| In a just-published patent application for delivering Advertising that is
| relevant to a person, nine Microsoft inventors spell out plans for using
| cameras, remote controls and biometric sensors... *

Advertising that is relevant to a person - classic case of patent trolling

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| Patent application Advertising that is relevant to a person just filed by
| Microsoft is a splendid example of patent abuse or patent trolling. *

Microsoft hopes to patent 'automatic goodbye messages'

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| Microsoft is trying to patent automatic goodbye messages, including "Have a
| great afternoon!" and "Ciao, Harry!"

Microsoft Deems Emotiflags Patent-Worthy

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| Microsoft said you could count on them to improve patent quality.
| For an example of how they're raising the bar on innovation, check
| out this just-published patent application for Emotiflags, which
| Microsoft explains solves the problem of indicating an emotion
| associated with an email message. At the risk of infringing on the
| patent, this one Makes Me Mad!"

Microsoft patent hints at pay-as-you-go OS

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| A Microsoft patent application from June 2005, published only today,
| titled "System and method for delivery of a modular operating system"
| may signal a fundamental change for what an operating systems stands
| for and how it is sold.

A Patent Lie

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| Microsoft sang a very different tune in 1991. In a memo to his
| senior executives, Bill Gates wrote, "If people had understood how
| patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented,
| and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete
| standstill today." Mr. Gates worried that "some large company will
| patent some obvious thing" and use the patent to "take as much of
| our profits as they want."

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| ...Thanks to Mr. Gates, we now know that an open Internet with protocols
| anyone can implement is communism...
| *
| ...Mr. Gates' secret is out now--he too was a "communist;" he, too,
| recognized that software patents were harmful-until Microsoft
| became one of these giants...

Big businesses boast of patent benefits, for small businesses

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| A report published by an EU task force on intellectual property claims
| that small businesses benefit from a patent system, despite lacking
| almost any participation by the small business community.
| Instead, the report, titled IPR (intellectual property rights) for
| competitiveness and innovation, was written up almost entirely by
| large corporations and the patent industry.
| [...]
| The report does note objections from the likes of and
| Sun Microsystems, which were recorded at some length in the report.
| But this does not appear to have impacted the conclusion of the
| report in any way
| [...]
| Jean-Pierre Laisne, of ObjectWeb, an open source software community,
| said that he found the report useless: participants were told that
| all their contributions would be recorded but at the end only
| those of Business Software Alliance and Microsoft were used.

MS Seeks Patent On Virtual Fuzzy Dice

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| Microsoft just published a patent application for an adaptive heads-up user
| interface for automobiles. It covers, among other things, virtual fuzzy dice
| that appear to move with automobile movements. *

Will Microsoft Put The Colonel in the Kernel?

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| "The kernel meets The Colonel in a just-published Microsoft patent
| application for an Advertising Services Architecture, which delivers targeted
| advertising as 'part of the OS.' *

Microsoft patents the mother of all adware systems

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| The adware framework would leave almost no data untouched in its quest to
| sell you stuff. It would inspect "user document files, user e-mail files,
| user music files, downloaded podcasts, computer settings, computer status
| messages (e.g., a low memory status or low printer ink)," and more. How could
| we have been so blind as to not see the marketing value in computer status
| messages? * *

Microsoft stole KittenAuth, renamed it and claimed it as their own.

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| The Microsoft Asirra project sites Oli as a source yet the Yahoo news story
| did not. I can only imagine that the more and more the Asirra project is
| pushed into the public domain, the less Oli will be cited as having the
| original idea. This isn't actually fair and I'd be very very upset if I was
| him. The idea is excellent yet the credit certainly won't be passed in his
| direction anymore. Any financial gain from the project won't pay royalties to
| him either and it's not like he could patent the idea originally. * * *

Microsoft files further adware patent

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| An example is given of a user browsing to a folder full of MP3 media files -
| such browsing would alert the adware monitor that the user may need MP3
| playing software, decoders, soundcards or other related items, and the
| appropriate advertising could then be displayed in a popup. *

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| 'MS are key sponsors of "Voices For Innovation" aimed at MS customers
| and designed to put a positive spin on software patents and enlist people
| to lobby on their behalf.'

Patent creators say Microsoft lied to get better deal on DVR patents

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| Microsoft is facing a patent lawsuit over its failed Ultimate TV DVR
| system. The lawsuit, filed by joint venture company Intellivision
| (no relation to the Mattel console), accuses the company of making
| fraudulent and misleading claims in order to acquire intellectual
| property without having to make royalty payments.

Fun with Google Patent Search: Why does the maker of Windows hold a patent on
a door hinge?

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| The patent was granted in 1998 and received a dribble of publicity
| in 1999, but I'm hard pressed to find any meaningful explanation for
| a door hinge being in the control of the company that made Windows famous.

Commerce Secretary names Schramm to innovation panel

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| He will be part of a lineup that includes the Microsoft Corp. CEO
| Steve Ballmer, 3M CEO George Buckley, UPS Chairman and CEO Michael Eskew,
| IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano and Wal-Mart Stores Vice Chairman John
| Menzer.

Did Microsoft just patent sudo?

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| 1985, huh? And when did this Microsoft patent happen? It was filed in
| 2000. Well gee, that doesn't make sense. How'd they get the patent?
| It certainly falls under the category of "obvious" if there's prior
| art such as sudo.
| What makes this whole thing funny, though, is something I saw a couple
| days ago. Head over to Builder-AU and listen to Peter Watson from
| Microsoft. He says,
| * "User Account Control is a great idea and strategically
| * a direction that sort of all operating systems and all technology
| * should be heading down"
| Excuse me? Does he really believe this is all Microsoft's great new
| idea?
| In the end, this seems like a patent that Microsoft will hold up and
| say "we have a patent and Linux is violating it!" They won't ever
| sue on it though (just leave the threat hanging to scare away
| potential users), because then they could have the patent revoked.
| It's better for them to just wave it around.


Microsoft Wins in Supreme Court; AT&T Ruling Overturned

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| In a stunning 7-1 decision with extremely broad implications in
| the field of patents and patentability, the US Supreme Court has
| overturned a Federal Circuit ruling that was in favor of AT&T,
| and has apparently affirmed Microsoft's arguments that software
| coupled with the device on which the software is installed
| cannot be considered patentable.