Filed under: “you gotta be kidding me” — Patent issued for Page Up Page Down

Written by pete

Topics: Business, Software Development

Microsoft has been issued a patent on Page-Up/Page-Down functionality (see below). I was annoyed when Amazon patented One-Click-Checkout, but this patent is even more troubling. I have written about Patent craziness before, mostly as it related to “Submarine Patents” (i.e. patents for products that will never see the light of day, to the benefit of the patent-holder).

This tactic is somewhat different. It patents an industry standard that has been in effect for a long time. 30 years ago, computers had page-up and page-down keys on their keyboards. It seems a little late to be seeking protection for such an innovation.

Anyone know the prior art backstory here?

From the FreePatentsOnline

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.

  • Ernesto Gluecksmann

    Yeah, it won't hold up in court. You know the interesting thing here is that you theory could call up the Patent Examiner at the USPTO and ask them what they were thinking allowing Microsoft to win such a claim. Every patent has a patent examiner that basically is the custodian for the category or class of patents that he/she monitors. Perhaps a call is in order?

  • Ted Inoue

    I think Stallman's head would explode if he saw this one…

  • Ted Inoue

    I think Stallman's head would explode if he saw this one…