Microsoft Patents PgUp-PgDn

from the non-obvious? dept

theodp writes "What do you call it when you're viewing the middle of one page and a Page Down command causes the middle of the next page to be shown? U.S. Patent No. 7,415,666, which the USPTO granted to Microsoft Tuesday for Navigating Paginated Content in Page-Based Increments. It's nice to see Microsoft make good on their pledge to improve patent quality!"


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 4:44pm

    Aren't you getting a bit tired raggin' on patents you think are trivial? Not every invention covered by a patent is earthshattering. Even if an earthshattering invention did arise, I suspect you would call it either "obvious" or "abusive behavior" if it was ever enforced against others.

    BTW, why am I seeing ads (apparently Google generated) on the right side of the screen relating to the funding of lawsuits and the patenting of ideas (AmericanLegalFunding.com and www.idea4invention.com/patent)?

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 4:50pm

    Where's my tab?

     

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  3.  
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    Joshua BA, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 4:53pm

    This is insane

    Shouldn't the patent office at least require a basic familiarity on the par of the examiner with the technical area of the patent?

    Obvious patent applications should be punished. If you submit something obvious to be patented (ie. the patent is rejected) then you should be banned from submitting patent applications for a year. That should reduce this insanity. And if an examiner approves a patent that, on a reexamine, proves to be obvious, that examiner, along with the patent office itself, should be liable for all costs incurred as a consequence of the patent (I feel the same way about judges who make bad calls. If you cause someone to lose their ability to work, you should be personally responsible for all the money they would have made if not for your decision as well as pain and suffering damages due to being outcast etc.).

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 4:59pm

    Re:

    I see no ads.

    Must be something wrong with your browser...

     

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  5.  
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    Bazza, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 5:06pm

    Re:

    He could well be tired of it.. But this one is both trivial and ridiculous, which is a whole other kettle of herring.

    BTW, fix your browser, no problems here with Ads. Likely your level of expertise isn't up to blocking malware.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Re:

    I have a persistent Google cookie, so maybe that explains it. Still, it is funny to see an ad so clearly at odds with much of what is posted on this site.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's nothing to do with the site, your browser is wholly responsible. You don't understand how Google ads and cookies work.

     

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  8.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 21st, 2008 @ 5:20pm

    Re:

    Aren't you getting a bit tired raggin' on patents you think are trivial?

    Nope. It's important to highlight how the system is being abused. I recognize that it gets tiring for patent attorneys, such as yourself, to feel the need to defend such obviously ridiculous patents, but that's not my problem.

    Not every invention covered by a patent is earthshattering.

    And that's the problem. The patent system is supposed to protect earthshattering ideas. Not common obvious ones.

    Even if an earthshattering invention did arise, I suspect you would call it either "obvious" or "abusive behavior" if it was ever enforced against others.

    If it hinders innovation, then yes, it would be abusive.

    I've asked you this in the past, and you've chosen not to answer it. Do you feel that a patent system is okay even if it stifles innovation?

     

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  9.  
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    nonymous, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 5:24pm

    Re:

    I have no ads whatsoever, much less the ones you describe.

    Quit using IE, your browser got pwnd.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 5:31pm

    Re:

    ad sense. Google it.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 5:40pm

    Re:

    There is an Adsense block on the right hand side. If you don't run FireFox with Noscript you'll see them.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Ads appear on the right side if you're using Safari, btw. Not just ie.

     

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  13.  
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    Pete Dixon, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 6:19pm

    Eh, the US is going to fail soon anyway..

    .. so hopefully all this ridiculous software patenting stuff by the Americans will be forgotten about. It's devolved into simple legal competitive maneuvering and does nothing to promote the common good, which was the intent of patents to serve in the first place.

     

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  14.  
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    Ted Nancy, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 6:35pm

    Join the Dwight Schrute Army of Champions

    Isn't this just patenting the functionality of a key that has existed since 1970s?

     

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    Ted Nancy, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 6:36pm

    Join the Dwight Schrute Army of Champions

    Isn't this just patenting the functionality of a key that has existed since 1970s?

     

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  16.  
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    Sam, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 6:36pm

    Broken Patent System

    In my opinion, the whole patent system is way off track.
    Patents should not protect ideas at all, it should protect the effort and investment that it takes to discover something.

    Research must to be protected, a medicine pill for example may cost few pennies to produce but billions to invent, therefore a protection is needed to ensure that companies continue to invest their time and money in discovering new drugs.

    On the other hand, ideas will always come, people will not stop thinking of new ideas if the patent system isn't there to protect it. Granting someone a monopoly over an idea that is obvious enough to be discovered in the natural course of science advancement does not make much sense.

    In this specific example, the Page Up/Down, Function keys, ALT, CTRL, TAB.. All were going to be "invented" by some computer person or another if MS hasn't done so. I don't see the reasoning for granting MS an exclusive right to that concept, I don't see what is being protected here.

     

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  17.  
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    anon, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 6:42pm

    Re: This is insane

    Wouldnt that hinder creativity in a way? especially for people who are new to the world of patents?

     

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  18.  
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    sqm, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:44pm

    it's not the general anad broad concept of pgup/pgdn that is protected by this patent but something much, much narrower

    What this patent protects is NOT the broad idea of using pgup/pgdn, which has, of course, been around since the 70s. Rather, this patent protects what appears in the claims. For example, claim 1: recites the following specific method, of which EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT (including the formula) must be performed by an infringer in order to be liable:

    1. In a computing environment, a method comprising: displaying at least one page of a document that has multiple pages, at least one of the multiple pages, and the displayed at least one page including a first page displayed beginning at a starting point offset from a top of the document and from a top of the first page; calculating a height of at least the first page; calculating a row offset of the starting point of the first page; calculating a vertical offset at the starting point of the first page, wherein the vertical offset is calculated according to a formula of the form {[(p-1)/c]h}+r, where p is equal to the number of pages in the document, c is equal to the number of columns of the document which are simultaneously displayed, h is equal to the height of at least the first page, and r is equal to the row offset of the starting point of the first page; receiving a command indicative of a whole page-based incremental scroll request related to changing first content currently being displayed in the at least one page; determining a whole-page increment for scrolling from first content to second content, wherein determining the whole-page increment includes calculating a vertical offset at a second starting point in the document, the vertical offset being calculated according to the formula V.sub.1.+-.(cr), where V.sub.1 is the vertical offset at the starting point of the first page; and changing the display to display second content, by replacing the at least one page of the document with at least one other page, the display of the at least one other page beginning at the second starting point.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 8:49pm

    Re:

    "BTW, why am I seeing ads (apparently Google generated) on the right side of the screen relating to the funding of lawsuits and the patenting of ideas (AmericanLegalFunding.com and www.idea4invention.com/patent)?"

    Google Adsense analyzes the content of the page it is on, then automatically serves ads with related keywords found.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 8:51pm

    Re: it's not the general anad broad concept of pgup/pgdn that is protected by this patent but something much, much narrower

    so, put simply, in a web page where there is too much text on a single page, it jumps you down to see the next visible section.

    that's completely new and original!

     

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  21.  
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    ABP, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 9:11pm

    Re:

    Because you obviously don't use Adblock Plus.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 9:28pm

    I knew they were evil. The patent number is 7,415,666. *666*

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 9:31pm

    I want my Cent, Double, and Triple buttons back.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 9:44pm

    Re: Re:

    "I've asked you this in the past, and you've chosen not to answer it. Do you feel that a patent system is okay even if it stifles innovation?"

    Your question is a bit disingenuous in that while you use the word "if", your opinions as expressed in articles you post invariably use the word "though". I believe a more correct form of your question would be "Do you feel a patent system is okay even though it stifles innovation?" This seems a fair modification of your question in that you continually reference publications of studies by others opining that patents stifle innovation.

    The simple fact of the matter is that I have serious doubts about the validity of such opinions as a general construct for technological advancement, though under some limited circumstances they may have some modest applicability; but certainly not to the exclusion of other approaches.

    I cited a couple of weeks ago the following article:

    http://www.stanford.edu/dept/law/ipsc/pdf/barnett-jonathan.pdf

    Please read it closely with an open mind, and then perhaps we will be able to engage in what I believe would prove a much more productive and informative manner.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Broken Patent System

    PgUp/PgDown were not Microsoft inventions, in fact some terminals had these keys before Microsoft even existed.

    Alt/Ctrl/Tab were on many keyboards even earlier than that.

    The specific function described in the patent has been around since the early days of visual page-based printing software, so the 60s/70s. That was 38+ years ago.

    Patent office gets a vote of FAIL.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 10:26pm

    MS is just another Patent Junkie, in search of a fix. The solution is to go after the drug sellers.....
    What is the name of the Patent lawyer and the patent examiner...... they are the ones that should be disbarred and fired... and lacking that turned into public figures that so that have no more privacy.

    Then we can have questions about their specie preference and if they have more neurons than a newt and whether their children will have the same infliction.

     

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  27.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 21st, 2008 @ 10:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And once again, you do not answer the question. Instead, you rag on other people's RESEARCH, calling it "opinions." If you can disprove the research, please do. Insulting famous economists and saying you simply don't believe what their research shows that you do not have much of an open mind.

    And then you claim that I don't have an open mind. Yeah, ok.

    I've been reading the document you linked to and I'll get to a more complete discussion of that in the near future. There's definitely some good stuff in there, but there are a number of rather critical errors in how it portrays the research that it suggests does not hold up to scrutiny.

    Please read it closely with an open mind, and then perhaps we will be able to engage in what I believe would prove a much more productive and informative manner.

    Funny. When we point you to research, you (without reading it at all) dismiss it as "nutty" or "clueless." Then you complain that we don't have an open mind.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: This is insane

    The assumption there is that the purpose of the creative process is to obtain patents, rather than patents being a means to incentivize the creative process. I think you'll also find that people use professional patent lawyers to file for them - they are the ones who should know better (alas, not knowing better is far more lucrative for them).

     

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  29.  
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    Tim, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 12:41am

    preventitive patenting

    I realize that patents such as the one you've pointed out here are a nuisance. Personally, I strongly agree with you in regards to the stifling of creativity. Clearly, in many cases where technology is involved, the patent system is completely unnecessary because many new ideas come from user feedback and marketing research. Such things are fundamental to each company which must play primarily to its users and then expand out (for instance the Vista failure which betrayed professional users for new hip users).

    However, I would like to now propose that the real problem with patent system is those who try to act upon their frivolous patents. So long as Microsoft never considers its patent to be actionable, who cares what they patent. In fact, better to have Microsoft, or Google if you really trust them more, patent every stupid little thing just to prevent anyone else suing them over it.

     

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  30.  
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    Azrael, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 3:59am

    Re: Re:

    Or Opera with adfilter.

     

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  31.  
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    Adrian, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 4:49am

    Re: Patents Ads

    You aren't using firefox :P

    Enable ad block and then you're safe of content based ads.

     

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  32.  
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    Louuu, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 5:11am

    WHY ????

    I remember the late seventies :
    there already were those keys on the 3/15 computers.
    And they had a separate "field exit" key that was sending the cursor from field to field, not using the tab key as they do now...
    And what are those function keys made for ? A "help" key to replace F1, OK, but the others ????
    And that "scroll lock" key that has never been used by anybody ??? Not yet patented by the GlassMonkey ?

     

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  33.  
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    nomshere, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 5:52am

    sigh....

    It is just a matter of when will they start patenting char keys... they we will all be f*cked!

     

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  34.  
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    No Time to Read, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 5:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    OK, what part of the article did you quote and how does such part applies to your byzantine arguments?

     

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  35.  
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    d0n0vAn, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 6:38am

    Microsoft Patents PgUp-PgDn

    Your Honor, my client holds U.S. Patent No. 7,415,666, which the USPTO granted to my client. We ask the court for damages from every manual input device manufacturer that placed these keys on their products without the proper licenses. We ask the court to issue an injunction stopping the use of these manual input devices, specifically, to disable these features until said licenses are in place. We ask the court issue an injunction to all software manufacturers to remove said functionality until said licenses are in place.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nice job of completely dodging the question. You really should try not to be such an arrogant prick, but that's probably well beyond your feeble abilities.

    Most of us have serious doubts about the validity of your opinions, too. But we can just write you off as a crackpot and a stooge.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 6:56am

    Re: it's not the general anad broad concept of pgup/pgdn that is protected by this patent but something much, much narrower

    So they patented mathematics?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 7:58am

    Re: Broken Patent System

    "Patents should not protect ideas at all, it should protect the effort and investment that it takes to discover something."

    Its always been my understanding that you cant patent an idea, only a process?

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    1. The thrust of comments I have made regarding the work of others you reference is that I do not believe that the data sets used are particularly relevant to a study of the patent system as a whole. This does not signify that I am an apologist for the system. I am not one who subscribes to the notion that the patent system drives invention, though I do believe that it does have salutory effects.

    2. I have read the various references you have cited since I am always interested in learning the pros and cons of any body of law with which I am engaged. I have not read them with any preconceived notion about the patent system. I long ago learned that our patent system is far from being a panacea. In many specific situation I have seen it as little more than a feel good placebo. In others, however, I have seen it as being instrumental in enabling the gathering of human resources and financial capital necessary to take a product to market.

    3. I cited the document in part because it does make many of the points you note and speaks of them approvingly. Another reason I cited it, among several, is its point that more than just patents are in play as incentives for promoting technological advancement. Other than its use of the pejorative term "utopia", I found it to be a much more objective analysis than the majority of academic papers I have read that dismiss out of hand studies of the kind you have cited in your many articles on the subject of patents.

    4. I look forward to your observations after you have read the paper. Who knows? Perhaps it may merit an article on this site pointing out its strengths and weaknesses.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I have not quoted any portion of the paper. I have merely cited it because I believe it is provocative and useful in understanding many of the points raised in articles posted on this site.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Insults aside, you may wish to consider reading the paper as well. The issues involved are much more nuanced than some who comment on Mr. Masnick's articles seem to believe.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Perhaps if you were to actually respond to questions, without coming off as Mr. Arrogant Know-It-All, I'd consider it. And as long as you continue to characterize these discussions as simply "raggin' on patents," it will be difficult to find your opinions worthy of consideration, no matter how well-reasoned those opinions may be. Just because you might be tired of the patent system discussions here, that doesn't make the discussions trivial, "raggin'" or any less important. As Mike has correctly pointed out many times, the current patent situation does more to stifle creativity than it does to promote creativity. But some folks who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo (can you say "patent attorney?") are vehemently opposed to any change in the system, as less litigation would negatively impact the number of billable hours. Never mind the negative impact the current patent thicket has on everyone. I guess being morally and ethically bankrupt is okay, if the client and attorney have achieved the goal of lining their pockets with money.

    And, by the way, the word is "salutary" (having beneficial effects), not "salutory." Honor thy spell-checker.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Microsoft Patents PgUp-PgDn

    I'm afraid that wouldn't fly. It's not the device manufacturers you should be after -- their products simply send this or that message to the machine. You should instead be going after the software vendors who then use that signal and interpret it to initiate software processes which infringe on your patent. Dismissed. Next.

     

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  44.  
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    anymouse, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 2:34pm

    And so... Microsoft Patents PgUp-PgDn... Then Sues Microsoft for infringement?

    "I'm afraid that wouldn't fly. It's not the device manufacturers you should be after -- their products simply send this or that message to the machine. You should instead be going after the software vendors who then use that signal and interpret it to initiate software processes which infringe on your patent. Dismissed. Next."

    And since the software interpreting the keyboard input is the operating system, that only leaves a few possible sources of infringement.... Since Microsoft is the one getting the patent, they aren't going to be suing themselves, which leaves Apple, and all the open source operating systems as the target.... Another interesting way to 'take out' the competition from Microsoft.

     

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  45.  
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    Casey, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 3:35pm

    If Microsoft didn't, someone else would

    If Microsoft didn't patent this idea, a patent troller or whatever they are called would come in and patent the idea and sue Microsoft and Logitech and Lenovo and every other keyboard maker. This whole thing looks to me like more of a defensive position than anything else to mitigate the amount of lawsuits being launched against Microsoft. I realize this has the potential to absolutely explode, but this is what has happened to the patent system.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 4:55pm

    I just read the patent. It's not a typical PgUp/PgDn scenario. I'm not defending the patent but what they are saying is that instead of moving the window on the document down or up a window, they are moving the document up or down a page (8.5x11 for example) into the windows view. A subtle difference. Worthy of a patent?

     

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  47.  
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    Ken Ryan, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 2:00pm

    Re: AC #46

    >what they are saying is that instead of moving the window
    >on the document down or up a window, they are moving the
    >document up or down a page (8.5x11 for example) into the
    >windows view. A subtle difference.

    My PgUp/PgDn has never moved the window, only the content.
    So what's your point?

    Sure, if MS attempts to assert this patent against a developer it would be easy to get invalidated. Assuming the developer happens to have the $2M or so needed to even enter the courtroom...

     

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  48.  
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    David F, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: anonymous coward & techdirt

    Jonathan Barnett writes wonderful academic-paper jargon. He uses lots of complex sentences to over analyze so called 'Intellectual Property' which I still believe is an artificially constructed term with no real meaning. It simply encompasses all the things which some wish could be made into the equivalent of personal physical property, but aren't that way legally because they cannot be. The laws of physics intervene to prevent us from turning the ephemeral into objects in the physical universe.

    In the context of this particular discussion, U.S. Patents (which are distinct from patents elsewhere in the world), which have become a farcical imitation of what they were intended to be.

    The U.S. Patent Office should be a very calm quiet place where few people have cause to visit. Why? Simply because true innovation in any field is considerably more rare that the USPTO would lead us to believe. The Patent Office is as busy as it is just because patents like this which is obvious to most, and simply there to to enlarge a patent war chest used to threaten others.

    The threat is not from true patent infringement, but from the cost of the legal action itself. It would be a trivial cost for M$ to fight a battle over this patent but devastating for a small company or a single developer.

    Anonymous Coward, you are looking for an enlightened academic discussion in the wrong forum. You won't find what you are looking for here. This forum is quick, fast and easy discussion forum where people say what they think in a succinct easily understandable manner.

    Cheers,
    Davidf

     

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  49.  
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    rerouter, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 6:53pm

    it IS broad

    that is plain stupid to say it isn't broad and requires every element blah blah blah, when the whole thing describes just that - scroll exactly one page, only it is described in tech-legal-worditis, so as to make it seem specific and innovative

     

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  50.  
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    rerouter, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 6:59pm

    Re: preventitive patenting

    two words: 'chilling effect'

    ms has enough power to stifle FOSS innovation without ever suing anybody, and to do that they are using the NUMBER of their patents, never mind if any of them are enforceable

     

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  51.  
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    UpToHere, Aug 23rd, 2008 @ 7:24pm

    IP = innovative pursuits

    Beethoven stole from Mozart and Haydn, Mozart and Haydn stole from each other, and all of them stole from Bach. Out of it came truly wonderful and innovative musical ideas, inspiring a century of composers.
    Then along came the truly idiotic concept of 'Intellectual Property' (the ownership of thought), the only purpose of which is to levy a toll on culture and research; not for the sake of the artists, be they engaged in cultural or scientific pursuits, but for the benefit of those who see in other's efforts a way to turn a buck for themselves.
    The IP brigade resembles nothing as much as a malignant tumor.

     

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  52.  
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    Pali, Aug 24th, 2008 @ 11:50am

    Let's change the definition!

    OK, they move from page to page. Well, I will from sheet to sheet now and 'page-up/page-down' will be rename 'sheet-up/sheet-down' (on M$oft... ok, ok, easy and childish)

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    ewfe, May 23rd, 2009 @ 12:29am

    China printing industry developed this years, who can tell us? China based plastic injection molding services with low costs and supeior quality Steel and aluminum scaffolding for construction is a very useful tool.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Moz, Sep 28th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    What can catalogs use for, how about catalog printing for business promotion?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    China Tent, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 8:48pm

    This is a good,common sense article.Very helpful to one who is just finding the resouces about this part.It will certainly help educate me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    China Tent, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 11:18pm

    This is a good,common sense article.Very helpful to one who is just finding the resouces about this part.It will certainly help educate me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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