Sunday, June 22, 2008

Microsoft spends big on a patent typo

Microsoft has produced this fine example of how to develop patent claims: In November 2006, Microsoft filed a patent application of dubious merit, with the following first claim: Patent Application No. 20080134338 1. A method comprising:mapping a visual invariant to a program invariant; and discovering inputs to GUI logic that includes a user actions and a execution context to cause the program invariant to be violated. In June 2007, after millions of dollars of additional research, Microsoft filed a patent application (of dubious merit) which is a followup after a lengthy negotiations with at least 2 patent examiners having the following claim worded subtly different: Patent Application No. 20080133976 1. A method comprising:mapping a visual invariant to a program invariant; and discovering inputs to GUI logic that includes a user actions and an execution context to cause the program invariant to be violated. Having the indefinite article a may imply (as an example of one of the possibilities) the existence of context, which is not new, nor obvious, nor useful; as opposed to the an article implying the intended claim to a type of execution context, which may let the application to have (some) value. This is the millions of R&D dollars that Microsoft is spending to fix the rest of the grammatical errors in a claim, while choking patent examination pipelines with this crap.

2 comments:

kahaly said...

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Kelly W. said...

great! Except I don't know how where you are on EC