Microsoft patents Page Up/Down functionality

Microsoft just got a patent on the PgUp/PgDn functionality that we've all been blissfully using for years, not realizing that Microsoft only recently decided to invent it.

Lest IBM be accused of being the only big software vendor to apply for and receive silly patents , Microsoft is proving its silliness mettle with the award of a patent on Page Up/Page Down functionality. And to think that I've been using that functionality for years without knowing that Microsoft had yet to invent it!

I used to believe that patents had to be non-obvious to make the cut, but Microsoft here demonstrates that the only obvious thing about patents is that the more they encumber the industry with both silly and even useful "inventions," innovation will be stifled. Indeed, it already has been.

We're veering toward a tragedy of the anti-commons, indeed.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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