Feeds

Microsoft celebrates 10,000 US patents

Weeeeeee!?

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.