01 September 2008

Microsoft, Enough With the Obvious Patents!

A bit over a year ago, I blogged about Microsoft patenting sudo. They're at it again. Guess what they patented this time. According to ZDNet, Microsoft patented the Page Up and Page Down keys. Yeah, no kidding. I really like how they linked to a keyboard from 1981 where you can see the aforementioned keys on the numpad.


erich said...

Our patent system is so broken that it is difficult for me to read about it anymore. Hopefully it will have a major overhaul in the future.

Anonymous said...

These stories annoy me because anyone can file protest against a pending patent. It's not like these things are secret; you can even search pending and granted patents pretty easily http://patft.uspto.gov/

Once a patent is granted it's really too late to do anything about it. You get to wait around until it's attempted to be exercised against you and then challenge individual claims (of the patent) in court.

Anonymous said...


It's not patienting the page up and page down keys. You can't patient things, only methods.

It's patienting a specific method of paging up and down a document where the document is zoomed. This not just like zooming a document and pressing page up or down, it is some extra logic or method to make that supposedly 'better'.

I hate software patients as much as the next software-patient hater, but this sort of thing just makes us look bad.

Mackenzie said...

If you look at the ZDNet article, the quote they give says essentially that they've patented jumping a certain amount regardless of zoom, and they give Pg Up/Pg Dn as an example. I suppose having a "5 pages ahead" or "half page" or "next screen" would be other examples, but it does appear that they patented jumping to what amounts to a document anchor.