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Microsoft Patents smiley's !!!!!


Snakebite
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Microsoft has patented the use of Smiley's or custom Emoctions as they are called on MSN Messenger see Press report below:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/050722/152/fnyso.html

Link to the Patent is below:

http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220050156873%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20050156873&RS=DN/20050156873

This has major implications at stopping other applications or website forums using this method of language communication. Smiley's have become part of the online community to allow people to express themselves more effectively.

What can be done to prevent Microsoft from taking over the use of this widely accepted online language?

:swearing::puke:

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If enough people are behind overturning this patent it could possibly done by appealing to the patent offices in question, on the basis that the use of smiley's/emoctions were in general circulation before the patent was filed therefore declaring it invalid.

The patent itself it relates to the actual methods used to implent the use of smileys in a text format which can then be represented as an image like in web forums and instant messengers.

I cant see how they can patent that since smileys have been around in one form or another for years

:):headbang:

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:D:love::down::cheers::rockon::nono::help::gringo::band::swearing:

I'll see you in court Billy-Boy.

The main people that Microsoft are likely to go after are ICQ, Yahoo Messenger and the programmers/webmasters of Website forums and any other software company that currently incorporates smileys into their applications.

Thats the whole point of the patent to stop other people using it unless they pay a licence fee to microsoft for it.

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Guest Cowboy Dan
Yes it is but now you will now have to pay microsoft for the priviledge of using it as part of an application or website forum or they can legally sue you.

So? Once again, who gives a fuck? It's not as if your life will become incomplete due to the inability to use a stupid smiley on a message board.

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Guest pop-notmyface

i should really become an entrepreneur, and patent EVERYTHING that hasnt already got a patent so that i can sue EVERYONES' sorry little ass.

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So? Once again' date=' who gives a fuck? It's not as if your life will become incomplete due to the inability to use a stupid smiley on a message board.[/quote']

Well considering this website is using smileys and you apparently pay money towards the upkeep of this website then part of your money will have to be given to microsoft to allow them to continue using smileys on this website. That is if Microsoft enforces the patent, which on previous experience they will.

I dont really give a crap about the money because it isnt coming out of my pocket but it is out of yours.

The legal implications about a company being able to patent the use of a language (albeit an online one) will throw up barriers to competition all round.

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i should really become an entrepreneur' date=' and patent EVERYTHING that hasnt already got a patent so that i can sue EVERYONES' sorry little ass.[/quote']

I know plenty of companies that do that already just to make money from it.

Tecnospamic being one company that patented cutting subsea structures with diamond wire and they have successfully sued several offshore contractors around the world for millions

If you can patent a good idea then you will probably be able to make quite a bit of money as long as you can afford the initial legal bills

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do you really think that the supporter fee for aberdeen-music.com will increase due to this?

Not in a million years. The US Patent system is well overdue for an overhaul and people filling silly patents like this will only help accelerate such changes.

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Well considering this website is using smileys and you apparently pay money towards the upkeep of this website then part of your money will have to be given to microsoft to allow them to continue using smileys on this website. That is if Microsoft enforces the patent' date=' which on previous experience they will.

[/quote']

What nonsense. If Microsoft ever manage to successfully force someone to pay royalties using this patent (which I doubt they ever will) then it will be vBulletin (the developers of the forum software this web site is run upon) that will have to pay royalties to Microsoft. Not this web site. It might mean I have to pay higher licensing costs for the forum software but I don't think Microsoft will ever be successful in collecting such royalties anyway. So I'm not worried in the slightest.

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A possible prior art has been found that could contest the validity of Microsofts Patent. See news report below:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/050725/152/fo4li.html

A system called X-faces was developed about 15 years ago and was used on usenet bulletin boards. Hopefully this will be enough for the Microsoft patent to be thrown out. As it will be seen to be copying X-faces.

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It is a shame it's Microsoft, but if it were a friendly superpower such as, say, Google, I'd be all for it just because it'd eliminate retards from writing stuff like

hey doodz :swearing::swearing::swearing: im a 12yr old hu tinkz im purty kewl cuz i cn use alot a smiley"s !!11111 :band::band::band::band::rockon::rockon:

which pollutes the waters of the internet with idiocy. The vast majority of intelligent internet users won't be terribly bothered by the loss of such an annoying novelty.

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1. a US patent is unenforceable in the UK...

2. the practicality of prosecuting all those who use smilies would be inhibitive...

3. a bit of a PR blunder by bill and the guys (again)

There is also a european patent been lodged by Microsoft which is also based around natural language

http://v3.espacenet.com/textdoc?DB=EPODOC&IDX=EP1178408&F=0&QPN=EP1178408

Hopefully though the Prior art that has been found to contest these patents in the form of X-faces will succeed in revoking microsofts application.

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