MS Patents Paying Bills, IM Invisibility

from the starting-off-the-new-year-with-a-bang dept

theodp writes “Apparently Microsoft’s resolved to leave no stone unpatented, starting out the New Year with patents for Paying Bills (‘the consumer is in direct control of the amount to be paid and the payment date’) and IM Invisibility (‘users may not ever even know that they are viewing inaccurate presence information’). Coincidentally, IM invisibility was the subject of a quip made by MS blogger Robert Scoble a day before the patent was issued.” The paying bills patent is a little more involved — as it’s more about “managing” how you pay your bills to avoid overdraft problems. Not sure that’s really patentable, but it’s not just for paying bills. The IM one is amusing, and you can bet Yahoo will have something to say about that, considering they already have selective IM invisibility enabled on their client (which is also the answer to Scoble’s question).

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