Thanks to Hurmoth for posting this in BPN.
18 months ago, Microsoft filed for two patents relating to the organization and reading of syndicated Web feeds. Yes, that includes Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. One of these patents covers "finding and consuming Web subscriptions in a Web browser." Naturally, people like Dave Winer (a self-described co-inventor of RSS) is not amused. "This should be denounced by everyone who has contributed anything to the success of RSS." By contrast, Nick Bradbury (behind the HTML editor HomeSite and the RSS reader FeedDemon) believes that "companies like Microsoft often file patents to prevent having to shell out millions of dollars to predatory lawyers who haven't invented anything other than a legal pain in the ass."
In actuality, Redmond filed for the patents on June 21, 2005 but they have been made public by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today. RSS is easily the standard for many Internet users who want to quickly skim through the latest headlines of their favourite websites.
News source: c|net's News.com