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Microsoft Wins "Tabbed Browsing" Patent [for links] Seems like a basic tool for browsers might be owned by Microsoft StupidScript
I'm surprised I didn't see any link to this, here: Microsoft Wins "Tabbed Browsing" Patent [ internetnews.com] Sept. 12 2004
Microsoft has been granted a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on a process known as tabbing through a Web page in order to find links.
Thoughts? Personally, I think it's junk. They have lawyers grabbing at patents like others grab at domains that are a little slow in getting renewed.
brotherhood of LAN
Make sure you have IE, or a mouse.
I suppose using a key other than the tab will be another ingenious idea for the next browser... Reflection
Holy misleading title.
Wasn't the concept of tabbing through buttons/options etc. around well before internet browsers?
Seems to prove two things.
1) MS has more money than sense.
2) The Patent Office has less sense than MS.
Surely, MS wanted their OS to appear consistent?
What next? Patent on File>Save?
Don't they also have a patent on using the "Start" menu to shut down the computer ;) ricfink
The claims section of this patent, the claims being the legal meat, says that Microsoft now has a patent on using a predefined key such as the tab key to highlight links in a web page.
Very broad coverage, it seems to me.
However, there are serious constraints on enforcing something like this.
Plus, the patent might be held invalid for many reasons.
Even in 1997, when it was filed, I think it was obvious and obviousness is grounds for narrowing a patent's scope or invalidating it altogether.
I think MS has to sit on this one for PR reasons.
My first thought about this was that it meant browser tabs (like FireFox's). My second thought was, then why hasn't Microsoft implemented them yet?
As it is, though, patenting the tab-through-links procedure seems a lot like one of the car manufacturors patenting a way to hold the steering-wheel. Everyone's keyboard has more or less the same buttons on it. Surely a program developer is free to use any one of them for whatever purpose he sees fit?
I can't beieve they would have the cheek to apply for that patent... no, no, maybe I could.
I can't however believe that someone was daft enough to grant it. What were they smoking?