Thursday, February 12, 2009

Microsoft receives 10,000th patent

Microsoft today announced that they have received their 10,000th patent, number 7,479,950 entitled "manipulation association of data with a physical object " which sounds ironic enough.!

While the patent's abstract reads:
"Data elements stored in a computing system and associated with a physical object are re associated with the same or another physical object. An identifying characteristic presented by the physical object, such as a reflective pattern applied to the object, is detected when the object is positioned adjacent to the interactive display surface. Images or other files associated with the identifying characteristic are accessed and displayed on the interactive display surface. A gesture by a user adjacent to the interactive display surface is detected to re associate a selected representation. For example, the user can change where the selected element fits in a sequence of data elements, or reassociate the selected element with a second object placed on the interactive display surface. In a networked environment, the re associated element can be stored on a server and subsequently accessed from a different interactive surface via the network using the second physical object."

For the second year in a row, in 2008 the IEEE ranked Microsoft's patent portfolio at the top of the list in terms of "its power and influence," and not just among software companies. In 2003, Microsoft made a public commitment to broaden its IP licensing efforts, shifting "from a defensive posture to a proactive, collaborative one."