Patents are licenses granted to companies over inventions and ideas, so they cannot be copied by others, as a part of intellectual property. In the world of tech, design patents are popular, and are even taking part in a recent conflict between Apple and Samsung. And it seems Microsoft is also looking for redemption as well, as it is looking to take software company Corel to court, over a design patent infringement.
Microsoft filed a case in court against Corel last December 18, stating that its productivity suite program, Corel Home Office, is crossing several patents filed by Microsoft. The complaint is saying that the companys program has "copied the look and the feel of the Microsoft interfaces in its accused products," and that the program WordPerfect even trains users to get used to using Corel Home Office by simulating the Word environment until they get accustomed to it. The suite even has a "Microsoft Word/Excel mode," to help the user adapt to the program.
One of Microsofts distinct concerns in the suit, among others is the alleged copying of patent D554,140, a slider UI, shown above, which lets users set a certain value to something by moving a vertical or horizontal indicator. While it may easily be said that this element is present in many computer programs today, even on non-Microsoft-made applications, the companys patent includes two buttons on each of the sliders ends, the slider version the Redmond-based company claims to own.
More of the complaint filed by Microsoft can be read here.
Microsoft is now demanding for a jury trial. Whatever decision is made in a lawsuit that some might deem as a joke or something that is petty still remains to be seen. If Corel is found to have infringed on Microsofts patents, even through the smallest parts, Federal Circuit law will entitle Microsoft to all of Corels profits from the whole productivity suite, at least that is according to the EFF.