Microsoft files patent for virtual page turning animation

A patent filed in 2009 by Microsoft which attempts to suggest the company invented the idea of a virtual page turning animation that was likely filed during the planning or pre-production process for the now dumped Microsoft Courier project has surface today.

The patent, discovered by GoRumors today, suggests that Microsoft is claiming they invented the idea of the page curling animation, which is similar to that seen when flipping from one page to the next in the iBooks application on Apple's new iPad tablet device. It seems Microsoft filed the patent when planning or early development of Microsoft's own tablet device -- the Microsoft Courier, which was dumped in April this year - was underway, with an excerpt from the patent reading as follows:

“One or more pages are displayed on a touch display. A page-turning gesture directed to a displayed page is recognized. Responsive to such recognition, a virtual page turn is displayed on the touch display. The virtual page turn actively follows the page-turning gesture. The virtual page turn curls a lifted portion of the page to progressively reveal a back side of the page while progressively revealing a front side of a subsequent page. A lifted portion of the page is given an increased transparency that allows the back side of the page to be viewed through the front side of the page. A page-flipping gesture quickly flips two or more pages.”

While the patent has yet to be awarded to Microsoft despite being filed last year, there is one feature that does separate it apart from all existing e-book applications - the ability to flip through multiple pages at once by dragging your finger down the right-hand side of the screen, according to The Register. You can't do this on any e-book device that's in production at the moment, including the iPad, Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook.

At this stage it's unclear whether, if the application is granted, Microsoft would attempt to go after the likes of Apple and Amazon and pursue them legally for infringement of the patent. 

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