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Microsoft Patents Tabbing Through A Web Page! - 9/7/2004 4:09:09 PM   

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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.

Source : TheRegister
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RE: Microsoft Patents Tabbing Through A Web Page! - 9/8/2004 4:52:53 AM   

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When seeing "patents" of this type, I only wonder if archimedes had filed a patent over the decimal representation of number pi, or euler for epsilon...
Some day consumers will have to pay for being able to walk on the right part of a street in uk, because someone has pattented this before in the continent...

< Message edited by sp -- 9/8/2004 5:06:38 AM >



(in reply to WinThusiast)
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RE: Microsoft Patents Tabbing Through A Web Page! - 9/8/2004 5:05:44 AM   

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Patents should be awarded for significant new propositions that extend beyond trivial conceptions, as essentially is the aforementioned ms "discovery". They should describe new ways of making things to work in a very controlled (and thus complicated) environment.
They should describe non-obvious methodologies and advanced findings of human intelligence. But this way the whole of science should be pattented! Unfortunately, they are usually the lame minds that do finally get profits by making use of legal fiascos such as this one...

Obvious methods such as tabbing in an html doc or pressing return to insert a new line are ridicolous examples of where money and the fight over dominance can lead mankind (assuming the supreme ms ermployee who made this ground-breaking new discovery belongs to it...)

< Message edited by sp -- 9/8/2004 5:07:35 AM >



(in reply to sp)
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RE: Microsoft Patents Tabbing Through A Web Page! - 9/8/2004 8:26:40 AM   

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Sad indeed...but then again...I guess its neverending story...unless they drastically change the patent laws...

Maybe in near future we would have such keyboards with option of locking some keys thru the internet (unless paying patent holder some fee before), and TAB would have a sticker Microsoft Patent Nr.6,785,865 on it ...and when we will pay monthly fee to use that key...they would unlock him thru WINDOWS UPDATE (& UNLOCKING) UTILITY in Windows Longhorn SP13...

I wonder whose patent is QWERTY? (if noone's...then i will patent it...)

Crazy world we are living in...all about money...but what about other traditional values?...who gives a **** about them, huh?

< Message edited by SiliconFreak -- 9/8/2004 8:27:22 AM >

(in reply to sp)
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