Summary: Microsoft is a toothless and clawless cat when it comes to patents, suggests more new evidence
ACCORDING to the press release and press coverage [1, 2, 3, 4], Microsoft has just settled with BackWeb [1, 2], weeks after settling with Acacia. We have also just learned that “Microsoft Patents ‘Fonts With Feelings’,” assuming that the interpretation in Slashdot is correct.
“Seems like those old IBM flaming logo commercials (video) should count as prior art, but the USPTO granted Microsoft a patent Tuesday for inventing Fonts With Feelings. Giving font characters sound, motion, and altered appearance, Microsoft asserts, gives a user ‘the impression the fonts have personalities,’ thereby enhancing the user’s understanding and/or fluency of words. From the patent: ‘As a few non-limiting examples, the word ‘giant’ can get very large; the word ‘lion’ can morph into a line drawing of a lion; the word ‘toss’ can morph into a hand that animates a ball toss; the word ‘bees’ could show bees flying around with or without a ‘buzz’ sound effect’. If you’re curious, Microsoft Research offers some explanations and examples of ‘fontlings’ in action — don’t miss ‘f’ kicks ‘a’!”
If this is true, it’s another good example of bad Microsoft patents which are worthless and can be trashed within minutes of exploration. Is this representative of Microsoft’s patent portfolio that mostly comprises maths and can thus be thrown aside after the Bilski decision (assuming it stands)? █