02.16.08

Microsoft Seeks to Own Page-flipping, Using the Broken USPTO

Posted in America, Finance, Microsoft, Patents at 9:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This you may not believe, but given some of the examples that we will get to in a moment, it’s hardly shocking. Have a look at this new patent application from Microsoft.

A newly published and quite intriguing Patent application from Microsoft describes technology for hand-activating page turning of Microsoft documents.

Here’s how this would work. You’re on a touchscreen PC, or Windows Mobile-powered device, reading through a Word doc or Power Point file. Rather than use a mouse or a trackball to prompt the document ti advance from one page or screen to the next, you’d simply flick your finger (now,now, let’s be polite) in the corner of the document. That would prompt the page to be turned.

If you think it’s a step too far, then watch previous articles such as:

A reform is desperately needed in order for sanity to be restored and then maintained, but there remain unnecessary obstacles. [via Groklaw]

Universities and colleges have also watched the debate closely and last week complained that their position was being misinterpreted by a rival coalition. In a letter Feb. 5 to Leahy and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the Judiciary Committee’s ranking member, the American Association of Universities (AAU) said a document distributed by the Coalition for Patent Fairness (CPF) “seriously misrepresents university views.” The CPF, an alliance of several tech giants, indicated that academics were fully behind the bill as now written. However, AAU Executive Vice President John Vaughn wrote, “That is not so.”

The main issue with (software) patents is that once they are granted, if you need to revoke them all, compensation might be necessary. But the United States is a victim of self-inflicted recession, so what are the chances of the Congress endorsing such a 180?

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