March 6, 2006 9:00 PM PST

Microsoft gets 5,000th patent

Microsoft plans to announce on Tuesday that it has been granted its 5,000th U.S. patent

The patent milestone represents a key marker for the software maker in its recent push to boost its patent filings and then license its technology to other companies.

The milestone patent covers technology used to provide a distinct "spectator experience" for video games, a technique used extensively in the Xbox 360.

The company increasingly has used its patent holdings as leverage in licensing to companies small and large. Microsoft has also banked on its intellectual property portfolio to protect its customers in intellectual property disputes, a move the company has heavily touted in its pitch against Linux.

The company, which a decade ago filed only a few hundred patent applications per year, now annually files roughly 3,000 applications.

That filing rate is unlikely to climb much higher, said Bart Eppenauer, the Microsoft lawyer who heads the company's patent effort.

"Three thousand is an awful lot," said Eppenauer, who noted that Microsoft is now among the top five technology companies in terms of patent filings.

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17 comments

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Microsoft rewards employees with little black cubes for patents
When I interviewed at Microsoft, one of the first things I noticed
was the large stack of small, black cubes with the Microsoft logo
on them. Every person I interviewed with had a handful of them.
They are cubes that say something like "Microsoft thanks you"...

If I got a black cube to set up in my office every time I patented
an obvious non-innovation, I would crank through them too...

Oh, and it's only when they start the process that they get the
cube - because the process takes a long time...
Posted by ryebrye (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
stop being bitter...
...for not getting hired Mr.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Link Flag
Amazing, isn't it?
Small wonder why you didn't get hired with that attitude.
Posted by Blog Poster (3 comments )
Link Flag
Where's the offer
"Oh, and it's only when they start the process that they get the cube - because the process takes a long time..."

What, like your interview with Microsoft... it's taking a while for the offer to come??
Posted by dwaynew (2 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft rewards employees with little black cubes for patents
When I interviewed at Microsoft, one of the first things I noticed
was the large stack of small, black cubes with the Microsoft logo
on them. Every person I interviewed with had a handful of them.
They are cubes that say something like "Microsoft thanks you"...

If I got a black cube to set up in my office every time I patented
an obvious non-innovation, I would crank through them too...

Oh, and it's only when they start the process that they get the
cube - because the process takes a long time...
Posted by ryebrye (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
stop being bitter...
...for not getting hired Mr.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Link Flag
Amazing, isn't it?
Small wonder why you didn't get hired with that attitude.
Posted by Blog Poster (3 comments )
Link Flag
Where's the offer
"Oh, and it's only when they start the process that they get the cube - because the process takes a long time..."

What, like your interview with Microsoft... it's taking a while for the offer to come??
Posted by dwaynew (2 comments )
Link Flag
Wow... impressive...
That's almost twice as many as IBM gets in a single year! Sheesh... pathetic...
Posted by karebman (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow... impressive...
That's almost twice as many as IBM gets in a single year! Sheesh... pathetic...
Posted by karebman (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The real story on this
People who know nothing about software look at the headline and think, "Wow! 5,000 patents! Microsoft is inventing a lot of new stuff!"

The truth is different.
None of the Microsoft patents is innovative. Microsoft has not, traditionally, been an innovative company.
The purpose of all these patents is to block competition. Most of them would probably be ruled invalid if they went to court. But challenging a patent costs millions of dollars. Most companies cannot afford it. The Free Software movement, which is the main competitor to Microsoft, cetainly cannot afford it.

Most people who have studied the subject consider that software patents are harmful to the economy and do not achieve any of the goals that the patent system was intended for.
Posted by observer 2178 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Like what?
"Most people who have studied the subject consider that software patents are harmful to the economy and do not achieve any of the goals that the patent system was intended for."

I think most people have not studied the subject. Can you identify a couple important goals of the patent system, and explain how software patents fail to achieve them?
Posted by badcorporatelogo (3 comments )
Link Flag
The real story on this
People who know nothing about software look at the headline and think, "Wow! 5,000 patents! Microsoft is inventing a lot of new stuff!"

The truth is different.
None of the Microsoft patents is innovative. Microsoft has not, traditionally, been an innovative company.
The purpose of all these patents is to block competition. Most of them would probably be ruled invalid if they went to court. But challenging a patent costs millions of dollars. Most companies cannot afford it. The Free Software movement, which is the main competitor to Microsoft, cetainly cannot afford it.

Most people who have studied the subject consider that software patents are harmful to the economy and do not achieve any of the goals that the patent system was intended for.
Posted by observer 2178 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Like what?
"Most people who have studied the subject consider that software patents are harmful to the economy and do not achieve any of the goals that the patent system was intended for."

I think most people have not studied the subject. Can you identify a couple important goals of the patent system, and explain how software patents fail to achieve them?
Posted by badcorporatelogo (3 comments )
Link Flag
If you needed proof that patent law is broken...
...here it is.
Posted by M C (598 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If you needed proof that patent law is broken...
...here it is.
Posted by M C (598 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where can i find all the (Microsoft) patent details.

I want to know all about.

bcdalai
http://bcdalai.blogspot.com/
Posted by bcdalai (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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