Two Microsoft patent holders help celebrate World IP Day

Microsoft owns patents for a ton of software and hardware products and recently it announced a new web tool where anyone can search for patents owned by the company. Today, Microsoft launched a new video that puts a spotlight on two of its employees that have been awarded patents in celebration of the annual World Intellectual Property Day.

The United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization has named April 26 as World IP Day "with the aim of increasing general understanding of IP." Microsoft's video on YouTube has Asta Roseway from Microsoft Research talking about how she felt when she was awarded her first patent for her work on the "Spectator Experience" feature that was added as part of Microsoft's Xbox console. In fact, that very patent, which was granted in 2006, was Microsoft 5,000th patent to be approved in the U.S.

The video also features Ali Khan from Microsoft's Server and Tools division as he talks about being awarded a patent for his work on the "Navigation Communication With Self-Identifying Elements". The patent was granted in 2008 and was made for software that can communicate with online services inside automobiles.

Both Roseway and Khan talk about the excitement they felt when they were told they had been awarded patents, with Roseway adding that her father had also been awarded a couple of his own patents when he was an engineer at General Motors. Microsoft gives employees who have been granted patents a small black cube with their name, the patent's name and the date as a reward for their efforts.

Source: Microsoft

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one day we will laugh at the selfishness.. copyright control and usage disgusts me. far too often it used to victimize people or businesses

How so? Everyone says what you said but no one list our possible changes. I don't have the answer and I don't pretend otherwise.

How does it protect what is mine? If someone copies my intellectual property without my permission, I have lost nothing tangible. I still have the complete, infinitely reproducible piece of intellectual property. I "might" have lost a sale, but to say such is speculation.

What is not speculation is the loss of scarce, physical property. Intellectual property laws disallow certain uses of one's physical property in order to protect intangible goods.

I own my computer's physical storage mediums, but I'm not allowed to place the bits on them in certain configurations due to someone owning that configuration. If I violate this, my tangible property is subject to seizure and myself subject to imprisonment.

Edited by nvllsvm, Apr 26 2013, 9:24pm :

@nvlisvm. Microsoft developed Windows at a cost of several billions of dollars. Everyone in the world can have a copy of it for free. Why should Microsoft complain? Their ability to produce multiple copies of their IP is not affected. And everyone in the world gets their copy of Windows for the cost of pulling it down their internet connection or copying a disc from their friend. Win-win. Right?

You might argue that some people have no intention of buying Windows, or can't afford it, so they should have it for free. Because it's not a "lost" sale. Who draws the line there though? Who decides who can afford it or not? I'm sure most people who can afford it will convince themselves that they can't. Who would like to spend money if they can avoid it?

Or take BMW's engine designs stored on a hard drive. Why can't Hyundai have copies of that for free? BMW is not losing anything. Right?

There is a cost associated with creating intellectual property. In the absence of copyright laws and patents, the incentive to work hard and create these IPs are greatly diminished. The ones that rally the most against copyright and patents are the ones who stand to gain the most from them not being there. Consumers and corporations alike.

K.John are you satisfied with how the copyright system in the USA works ?
It was invented in an age before internet use..
What it encompasses now is focused usually on getting the bad mp3 down loaders but that is not what the intention was. it used to be so someone couldn't steal your idea and make a clone of it basically so how does that pertain to digital goods ? Lets point out how many people sit on patents and hoard them.
Like i said earlier the system is huge mess i think and needs re-thinking and when we are past the greed in the future we won't be worried about stuff like this because its selfish.

@K.John

These laws can result in armed law enforcement imprisoning an individual while seizing their assets to reimburse the risked money used in the creation of ideas/configurations.

That's not my problem that Microsoft chose to risk their money in the development of a product. What about products that fail to capture the market? No one should be forced to forfeit their private property, let alone imprisoned, in the name of covering the risk invested in the creation of goods.

Edited by nvllsvm, Apr 28 2013, 3:19pm :

@spoetnik: You're right. It's not perfect and requires revision. But scrapping the system altogether is not the solution either.

@nvllsvm: If I choose not to USE Windows (as opposed to buy), and nobody on earth used Windows, and yet Microsoft spent billions developing Windows, will armed law enforcement break down my door to collect money "risked" by Microsoft. Of course they wouldn't. Microsoft loses that money. That basically destroys your argument.

But if I used Windows without paying for it, I'm using something that I haven't paid for the right to use. Microsoft should have the right to recover the amount from me + any associated costs with the recovery (legal, investigative, etc.).

But really as far as I know Microsoft has never gone after a private individual using Windows privately without paying for it. It's usually businesses using pirated copies on a large scale, system builders using pirated copies and people sharing copies freely over file-sharing utilities. But I digress.

I'm sorry but all I see here is you having a position you like (not having to pay for other's IP) and crafting weak arguments to make that position palatable to yourself, to some extent, and to others.