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09/08/2004: Asshat of the Week Asshat of the Week

Microsoft patents use of Tab button

A patent for which Microsoft applied on March 6, 1997, has been granted: "Discoverability and navigation of hyperlinks via tabs." In other words, when a computer user uses the Tab key to move the focus from one hyperlink to another on a webpage opened in a browser, the use of that function is now owned by Microsoft.

The Tab patent, number 6,785,865, was granted on August 31st, just one among multiple patents granted to the software giant on that day. Another interesting grant is number 6,784,354, with an application date of March 13, 2003: "Generating a music snippet." Yes, you read that right. Now dividing a music stream into portions is Microsoft's domain. The abstract describes the process as follows:

... In one aspect, the music stream is divided into multiple frames of fixed length. The most-salient frame of the multiple frames is then identified. One or more music sentences are then extracted from the music stream as a function of peaks and valleys of acoustic energy across sequential music stream portions. The music snippet is the sentence that includes the most-salient frame.

Find out more by reading the patents for yourself: Tab patent; music patent.

Prior art surrenders