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No, Seriously: Microsoft Patents Page Up & Page Down

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Put this in the category of “you gotta be kidding me.” Microsoft has applied for and received a patent (U.S. Patent #7,415,666) that essentially patents “Page Up/Page Down” functionality. The patent (Timothy D Sellers, Heather L. Grantham, Joshua A. Dersch) that was filed in March 2005 is yet another proof that our patent system is as (if not more) dysfunctional as Britney Spears.

Method and system for navigating paginated content in page-based increments

A method and system in a document viewer for scrolling a substantially exact increment in a document, such as one page, regardless of whether the zoom is such that some, all or one page is currently being viewed. In one implementation, pressing a Page Down or Page Up keyboard key/button allows a user to begin at any starting vertical location within a page, and navigate to that same location on the next or previous page.

For example, if a user is viewing a page starting in a viewing area from the middle of that page and ending at the bottom, a Page Down command will cause the next page to be shown in the viewing area starting at the middle of the next page and ending at the bottom of the next page. Similar behavior occurs when there is more than one column of pages being displayed in a row.

59 Responses to “No, Seriously: Microsoft Patents Page Up & Page Down”

  1. “did any of the posters read the claims before jumping the gun?”

    No. The general public doesn’t have a clue about patents. For this patent, the claims are actually quite specific to a particular algorithm.

  2. getthefactsstraight

    good question, frank: “prior art, anyone?”

    since “the name of the game is the claims”, it’s not the abstract that is examined for patentability. did any of the posters read the claims before jumping the gun?

  3. finding stupid patents – sounds like a job for Mechanical Turk @ Amazon. I am sure if gigaom pays out a few bucks ($100 ?) for each selected entry, there’d be takers.

  4. For someone not leaving in the US, the numerous patents being filed is always fun stuff to read. Seriously, some things is just common sense/knowledge, I really can’t understand why it even is considered someone’s property! But as I said, I’m not American…

  5. while looking at the patents cited by this dysfunctional patent, i found
    U.S. Patent 5,463,725 issued to IBM in 1995

    An interface for making information available to a user provides a display similar to a printed book or magazine. In order to “turn the page” of the displayed book, the user touches the screen with his hand or a pointing device, and moves it across the screen. Movement across the screen, while touching the screen, causes an animated turning of the page of the displayed printed material. This page turning technique is very similar to the turning of a page with an actual book or magazine.

    Seems like Apple’s cover-flow and other photo/page browsing widgets on iphone are in violation of this one…