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Author Topic: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!  (Read 4837 times)

zridling

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Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« on: September 10, 2008, 08:09:56 AM »
As if (U.S.) patents couldn't get anymore pointless, the very idea of applying for such a patent is pretty damn sad. What, the spacebar patent was already taken?

The software giant applied for the patent in 2005, and was granted it on August 19, 2008. US patent number 7,415,666 describes "a method and system in a document viewer for scrolling a substantially exact increment in a document, such as one page, regardless of whether the zoom is such that some, all or one page is currently being viewed".

source: ZDnet

icekin

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2008, 08:42:11 AM »
Next up: Adobe had patented color, while apple has a trademark on the word pod

Gothi[c]

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2008, 08:43:10 AM »
Actually, they didn't patent the pgup/pgdown keys.

They patented scrolling up/down in equal amounts, and provided pgup/pgdown keys as example to trigger the functionality.

Equally, outrageous though.  :mad:

Josh

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2008, 09:48:40 AM »
I guess thats why people should read the article first, eh Gothi[c]? I really don't consider this all that outrageous given that people have placed copyrights on stupider things.

Darwin

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2008, 01:15:58 PM »
I'm seeking a patent on the sodium-potassium pump. I figure that everyone on earth can either pay me royalites or go into renal distress. Once the money starts rolling in, I'll buy the rights to dialysis and then take over the world.

In the future, you'll look back on this moment in awe and remember that it all started with a dream...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Grorgy

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2008, 01:31:48 PM »
I really don't consider this all that outrageous given that people have placed copyrights on stupider things.

Just because others are even sillier is not, in my opinion, a reason to condone further stupidity.  Surely both microsoft and the patents office have more constructive things they could be doing?

Josh

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2008, 01:32:55 PM »
But tell me, isn't this the purpose of patents? To patent a way of doing something?

tomos

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2008, 01:57:50 PM »
But tell me, isn't this the purpose of patents? To patent a way of doing something?

:D I think it's about money but, yes, of course you're right

Are ms going to have to be paid off now by every keyboard producer ? or is the distinction between the keys & the action enough to spare them (presumably not, otherwise why the patent ...)
Tom

Darwin

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2008, 02:12:37 PM »
I think that the patent covers the way the pg-up and pg-down keys are used in programming, not the physical keys themselves.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Josh

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2008, 02:26:35 PM »
Right, patenting a key would be ridiculous, but the way in which the keys operate I see as a legitimate patent, just like the rolly storage bins which were advertised on TV during the late 90's were patented as a "Method of storage". Again, the title of this article misleads and does not actually indicate that it is a matter of HOW the key is utilized and not the ACTUAL key itself.

mwb1100

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2008, 03:40:50 PM »
Right, patenting a key would be ridiculous, but the way in which the keys operate I see as a legitimate patent, just like the rolly storage bins which were advertised on TV during the late 90's were patented as a "Method of storage". Again, the title of this article misleads and does not actually indicate that it is a matter of HOW the key is utilized and not the ACTUAL key itself.

However, two of the attributes a patent is supposed to have are that it is:

  • novel - something new (ie., no prior art)
  • non-obvious - especially to a skilled practitioner in the area the patent is in

The patent as described by the news article (I admit, I have not read the actual patent itself) does not seem to come close to meeting these attributes.  Early word processors, mainframe applications and even early versions of Adobe Reader had PgUp/PgDn keys behave as described (I personally never found that behavior to be very usable anyway).

simakuutio

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Re: Microsoft granted patents for PageUp and PageDn keystrokes!
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2008, 03:44:13 AM »
Patent is useless/worthless unless challenged in court.