We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Microsoft patent haul hits 10,000

But IBM is still biggest tech patent holder

Microsoft has recorded its 10,000th US patent, which came on the back of technology used in its Surface computing platform.

US Patent No. 7,479,950 covers a technology that lets users place objects on a surface and have them associated with data or media stored on the computer's hard drive. A user could place a set of car keys on the surface and the computer could bring up that person's schedule or list of favourite TV shows airing that night.

Microsoft says the company is ranked fourth among companies with the most US patents. In 2008 alone, Microsoft rival IBM was granted 4,186 patents, a record for a single year, to Microsoft's 2,030.

Microsoft says it spends roughly US$8 billion a year on R&D, a figure it says tops any other technology company.

Curtis Wong, who is one of four Microsoft Research co-inventors of the technology, said: "The goal of this patent is to make the interaction between the physical and virtual worlds a little more seamless."

Wong, who has authored 45 patents, also was a co-inventor in 2006 on Microsoft's 5,000th patent, a technology that let people become spectators in online video games. Last year, Wong was part of a group that launched the Worldwide Telescope.

Network World US


IDG UK Sites

LG G4 Note UK release date and specification rumours: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 killer could be the LG 3......

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 off Retina iMac with new model