Feeds

Microsoft patents tabbing through a web page

Just tab along to our IP licensing agreement...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Last week Microsoft was granted an ancient patent claim covering the navigation of web pages by keyboard. According to US Patent 6,785,865 (Discoverability and navigation of hyperlinks via tabs - Cote et al), the practice of tabbing through hyperlinks on a web page now belongs to Microsoft. The claim was filed more than seven years ago, in March 1997.

"A user may press a tab key to discover and navigate to a first hyperlink that is part of a hypertext document. The first hyperlink is, in response, given focus and a focus shape is drawn around the text or graphics for the hot region of the hyperlink. If the user again presses the tab key, the next hyperlink is given focus and a focus shape (i.e., an outline that surrounds the next hyperlink) is drawn around the next hyperlink," we learn from the abstract.

But the focus shape doesn't have to be a rectangle. Redmond's Brains Trust must have been burning the midnight oil back then at the height of the browsers wars, as the filing also claims ownership of circular (claim 7), polygonal (claim 8) focus shapes too.

The filing lists twenty five references dating back to 1994.

Last year Microsoft hired Marshall Phelps, the executive who founded IBM's billion dollar IP licensing program in the 1980s. Phelps told a legal conference last year that "You don't just get patents for the sake of getting patents," shortly before he joined Microsoft. Redmond launched its first ever IP licensing initiative last December, offering the rights to use the FAT file system to device manufacturers. Microsoft's right to hold the FAT patents is being re-examined by the US Patent and Trademarks Office, after a challange citing prior art by a public-interest organization.

Ironically, in July an appeals court ruled that Microsoft had no right to hold patents on ergonomic keyboard design, which the company contests. ®

Related stories

Microsoft patents .Everything
Microsoft patents the body electric
Microsoft wins another Eolas web patent battle
HP feared MS open source patent offensive
MS defeated in ergo keyboard patent appeal
Microsoft's war on GPL dealt patent setback
Microsoft squares Intertrust DRM suit for $440m
Eolas' web patent nullified
Judge denies MS attempt to re-define card
Microsoft aiming IBM-scale patent program at Linux?
Apple thanks Microsoft for inventing the Trash Can

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.