Horacio Gutierrez, Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs at Microsoft blogged over the last weekend applauding the Supreme Court’s decision that abstract ideas are not eligible for patent protection in the Alice v. CLS Bank case. He claimed that court has correctly distinguished Alice’s invalid business method patents from valid patents that advance technology. In the recent times, there are lots of discussions happening in the technology industry on whether software patents are valid. But, this court’s ruling comes in favor that software patents are valid just like any other technology patents. The Court’s opinion follows closely the amicus brief we submitted with HP and Adobe, and recognizes that software inventions are eligible for patents, especially where they “improve the functioning of the computer itself … [or] effect an improvement in any other technology or technical field.” [p.15] Software patents are no different than other technological ...

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Virtual or soft keyboards has now become a norm on touch screen systems as it is the primary way to type text on these systems. Today, an old Microsoft patent went public in which Microsoft is describing a virtual touchpad. Just like virtual keyboards, virtual touchpads will be displayed in the OS and the user interaction on the virtual touchpad will be processed by the OS similar to how they handle actual physical touchpads. Abstract: Embodiments described herein are directed to simultaneously presenting a virtual touchpad and a graphical user interface of an operating system on the same display. A user can interact with the OS using the virtual touchpad, and user touches are read by a touch-screen portion of the display assigned to the touchpad. Touch input software converts touch packets from user touches into data packets relevant to the screen and display resolution of either the display or ...

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Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business has been cleared to close in 16 markets where the deal was approved without any conditions. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) however approved the deal on certain conditions as they feared Microsoft may use its dominant patent resource to get more royalty out of Chinese OEMs. You can read Microsoft’s commitments is here. At that time, Microsoft revealed that Android devices are built on hundreds of patent “families” owned by Microsoft. A Chinese agency has now published the lists of patents on a Chinese-language webpage. You can download the longer list of 310 patents or read it below. The below document has three sections, in which 73 patents are classified as “standard-essential patents,” or SEPs which Microsoft should license to others on FRAND terms. There are 127 patents that Microsoft believes are used in Android devices. And there is another classification that has “non-SEP” assets, which includes 68 patent applications and 42 issued patents. Microsoft ...

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Recently I came across couple of interesting patents filed by Microsoft. Find their abstracts below. Sensor-in-pixel display system with near infrared filter A display system includes both a cover panel and a display panel. The display panel includes multiple display pixels and multiple sensor elements configured to detect infrared light reflected from an object touching or close to the cover panel. The filter layer is configured to increase rejection of near infrared light reflected from the object prior to detection of the infrared light by the multiple sensor elements. The filter layer can be positioned in different locations, such as between the display panel and the cover panel, within the display panel, or within or on top of the cover panel. Glow touch feedback for virtual input devices The claimed subject matter is directed to providing feedback in a touch screen device in response to an actuation of a virtual ...

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In various mobile devices, such as tablet PCs, hand-held devices, and small multi-screen devices, include wide bezels to enable a user to hold the device without accidentally touching the combined display and touch screen. Even with the inclusion of a wide bezel, however, accidental touches can occur. When a user accidentally touches the screen, for instance, the device may perform undesired actions because it is unable to distinguish between an intentional touch by the user and an accidental touch by the user while the user is holding the device. A recent Microsoft patent is trying to solve this issue with touch sensors in the bezel. Touch-sensitive bezel techniques are described. Touch sensors are located in a bezel portion and a display portion of a display device of a computing device. The touch sensors detect a touch input and are used to determine, based on characteristics of the touch input, a ...

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Microsoft along with other industry-leading companies announced a new partnership for American innovation. Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft and Pfizer is partnering with Former U.S. Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) Director David Kappos to highlight the value of intellectual property and patents to U.S. jobs and the economy. Read the full press release below. NEW YORK, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — A diverse group of industry-leading companies — Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft and Pfizer — which have staked their businesses on innovation, have launched the Partnership for American Innovation (PAI) to safeguard America’s position as a global innovation leader. Former U.S. Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) Director David Kappos, now a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, is a senior advisor to the group. PAI members represent a diverse cross section of the economy; they have different business models, use their patent portfolios in very different ways, and are frequently ...

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  Microsoft today announced a patent licensing agreement with Dell for its Chrome and Android based devices. REDMOND, Wash. — March 26, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. and Dell announced a patent licensing agreement allowing the companies to share technology and build on each other’s innovations. It is the continuation of a nearly 30-year business relationship between Microsoft and Dell to deliver world-class technologies to consumers. “Our agreement with Dell shows what can be accomplished when companies share intellectual property,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “We have been partnering with technology manufacturers and vendors for many years to craft licensing deals, instead of litigation strategies.” “Today’s announcement builds on our history of collaborating to bring new technologies to market. The relationship between Dell and Microsoft continues to help Dell deliver choice and flexibility to customers looking for ...

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Microsoft Surface Touch Cover 2 supports touch gestures across keys and touchpad. Touch Cover 2 has 1092 sensors while the original Touch Cover had 80 sensors. All these Touch Cover 2 pressure sensors have 1024 pressure levels and all the processing is done inside Touch Cover to support gestures. It supports gestures like the below, •Spacebar slide to select – When you’re typing in any Windows 8 style application on the Touch Cover 2 or using the on-screen keyboard, context aware suggestions will be displayed in real time as you type. You can reach up to the screen to select a word if you see the want you intend on typing, or you can slide your thumb across the spacebar to cycle through the three selections. Tap the space bar to lock in your choice. A space will be added after that word automatically, but if you punch in any punctuation, Windows will ...

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Two years back, we reported that Microsoft Research is working on gesture based search. Microsoft research was then working on gesture based search where a user will be drawing some gestures on the screen based on which search results will appear. A user draws two circles in the search window of a smartphone. In a moment, a bicycle and a bundle of apples appear on the screen, among other things with round shapes. This is Microsoft’s next-generation search technology called “gesture,” which enables automatic search of relevant information by drawing only; no word entry on a keyboard is necessary. Microsoft Research even claimed that the technological development of gesture search is almost complete and will be seen on mobile and PCs, but it didn’t materialize as expected. Today, a Microsoft’s patent titled “SEARCHING AT A USER DEVICE” describes the exact implementation on Windows tablets. This patent describes the technology how ...

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A recent patent filing from Microsoft reveals a new switchable magnetic lock mechanism that could be used in smartphones, laptops and others. Find the excerpt from the patent below. Current solution followed by various OEMs: Many computing devices have movable and removable parts and peripherals. A smart phone may include a stylus. a laptop a hinged display. a tablet computer a battery charger. or a portable audio player a docking station, to name just a few. Current techniques often fix these parts and peripherals to their computing devices using mechanic connectors, such as latches, sliding tabs, and so forth. These mechanical connectors, however, often fail to provide a satisfactory design because they have objects that jut out or holes that pierce the computer body, part, or peripheral. Examples include exposed latches, latch holes, tabs hooks, and tab reception detents, to name just a few. Some techniques have attempted to address this ...

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Last year, Microsoft announced the initiative to make its list of patents publicly accessible to anyone on the internet. Following the same path, Microsoft last year announced its plans to provide electronic access to Microsoft’s prior art today. By making this information available to the USPTO and public, reviewers can better ensure issued patents reflect truly novel inventions. Microsoft today announced that the beta testing will be over soon and they are implementing the USPTO’s feedback. They are planning to make the service available to all patent examiners by May 2014 and will continue to add to the database with the goal of providing examiners access to more than 10 million archived Microsoft technical documents. The USPTO reviews thousands of applications, and part of that review includes a search to see if the idea is truly novel. Right now, though, the USPTO lacks easy access to an enormous amount of this ...

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Today, Samsung and Google announced their cross-license patent agreement that will cover both existing patents and patents that will be filed over next 10 years. As we all know, Samsung is known for its imitation/copying of others innovation and it was evident after various courts asked Samsung to pay Apple for violating their patents. Google with their Android OS violates no.of patents owned by Microsoft and many other companies is already under fire in various courts across the world. Now since they both have partnered on patents. will it save them from patent cases? I don’t think so. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Google Inc. today furthered their long-term cooperative partnership with a global patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of technologies and business areas. The mutually beneficial agreement covers the two companies’ existing patents as well as those filed over the next 10 years. “We’re pleased to enter into a cross-license ...

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Rockstar Consortium, a patent holding company jointly owned by Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft and Sony was formed when Nortel’s patents were open for bidding. Rockstar won the bidding and it is now in the process of striking licensing deals with other companies to give back the money to its founders. Last year, Rockstar Consortium and its MobileStar Technologies subsidiary sued Google, Huawei and other Android OEMs for violating its patents. Google even submitted their response to court regarding this patent case. Today, FOSS Patents reported that Huawei has settled with Rockstar Consortium and decided to drop the patent case in the court. While the motion to dismiss does not explicitly state that the parties have settled, it would be utterly unrealistic to believe that Rockstar would let Huawei use those patents without a royalty-bearing license. Whatever the basis of this settlement may be, a “freebie” it’s certainly not. This is ...

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Microsoft is competing with market leader Amazon in providing cloud services. They are already in price war and delivering reliable and top notch performance is a must have in this business. The cloud pricing scheme differs on performance levels and the new patent from Microsoft researchers revealed a new pricing approach where customers can either bid a price they’re willing to pay or to be quoted a price based on the system’s estimate of the resources needed to deliver that performance. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft delivers this pricing scheme to its customers. Abstract: Described are performance-based pricing models for pricing execution of a client job in a cloud service. Client-provided performance-related parameters are used to determine a price. The price may be a minimum bid price that is evaluated against a bid received from client bidder to accept or reject the bid. Alternatively, the price may be returned ...

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Microsoft was ranked 5th among the top 10 US patent winners of 2013. Microsoft totally was awarded with 2,660 patents. IBM was once again leading the list with 6,809 patents for 21st year, followed by Samsung, Canon and Sony. Surprisingly, there are only three US companies in the list which are Microsoft, IBM and Qualcomm. Microsoft is the only company on the top 10 list which primarily does software business while the other 9 companies deal mostly with hardware and services which are easily patentable. The Top 10 U.S. Patent Winners of 2013: 1)  IBM             6,809 2)  Samsung         4,676 3)  Canon           3,825 4)  Sony            3,098 5)  Microsoft       2,660 6)  Panasonic       2,601 7)  Toshiba         2,416 8)  Hon Hai         2,279 9)  Qualcomm        2,103 10) LG Electronics  1,947 Press Release: MADISON, Conn., Jan. 14, 2014 — IFI CLAIMS® Patent Services, the leading producer of global patent databases, analytic solutions and innovative web services, ...

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Rockstar consortium which was created by Microsoft, Apple and other technology companies to acquire patents from Nortel Networks in 2011. Rockstar Consortium won the bid for $4.5 billion against the rival group which included Google, Intel and others. Bloomberg today reported that Rockstar is in discussions to sell a part of those patents in order to monetize their investment in this intellectual property. The group, called Rockstar Consortium, has recently been in conversations with possible buyers about the patents, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Rockstar, which also includes BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY), Ericsson AB and Sony Corp., has had little success in landing large licensing deals for the patents, three of the people said. This is not a completely new news because Rockstar already sold $1 million worth of patents to a company called Spherix in July. Also Rockstar is already suing ...

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