Feeds

Microsoft celebrates 10,000 US patents

Weeeeeee!?

New hybrid storage solutions

Microsoft announced it's been awarded its 10,000 patent in the US. The big "ten-oh-oh-oh." Quintuple digits. That works out to an average of 294 patents per year since Microsoft was founded.

This milestone from IT's number four patent grubber is apparently something for us – who presumably aren't members of Redmond's legal team – to celebrate. Or so we're lead to believe.

Patent 7,479,950 is entitled "Manipulating association of data with a physical object." Microsoft describes the patent as providing object recognition for "surface computing" technology like the multi-touch coffee table PC the company was showing off back in 2007.

When users place things such as keys or a finger on the computer's display, the system will automatically identify the object and track its location and movement. The idea here is that these objects can then be associated with certain data or media on the surface computing device, like a music collection or text documents.

To continue, swipe family dog across screen or press any key.

Or perhaps you've dreamed of dialing up your Phil Collins CD library by pressing your ass against a table? Surely, I'm not the only one.

Microsoft's chief patent counsel Bart Eppenauer stated for the announcement Tuesday that the company has been increasing its emphasis on IP in recent years to squeeze more revenue from its intellectual assets.

The company said it spends about $8bn a year on R&D and filed just over 2,000 patents in 2008.

"Patents are the currency of innovation," said Eppenauer. "They enable Microsoft to share our innovations with others through licensing, and that in turn enables others to share their innovations back with us."

But what about those who claim too much IP ownership actually stifles innovation?

According to Microsoft:

Patents as knowledge-sharing tools may seem counterintuitive at first. After all, patents do give their owners the right to exclude others from using a technology. But even in this case, denying use is very different from denying to others knowledge of the new technology, which patents by law are required to disclose.

So, all these patents are good for, well, journalists who write stories about IT patents.

I'm sold. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.