Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Scientific American discusses rejected Microsoft patent application

The post notes:

Although the patent office rejected Microsoft's application, reports tech news Web site Ars Technica, the company laid out a plan for the future of computing, where bits and bytes are delivered to one's home similar to the way utility companies deliver electricity. Based upon documents available on the patent office's Web site, Microsoft's application lacked sufficient detail in several areas, including descriptions of the service and how it is different from other ideas already issued patents, according to patent examiner Murali Dega. Microsoft has the ability to tweak its application and resubmit. When contacted, the company would not disclose its plans regarding the patent application or the proposed metering service.

The rejection of application "Metered Pay-As-You-Go Computing Experience" (11/766613, filed June 21, 2007) was a non-final, first Office Action mailed Dec. 12, which included rejections for

lack of written description (35 USC 112) [didn't define polls]
indefinite claims for functional, operational language
obviousness over Circenis and Yu

The first claim recited:

A method of operating a computer with scalable performance comprising:presenting a catalog of options related to scalable performance of the pay-per-use computer;presenting a price associated with each of the options;receiving a selection of an option from the catalog of options;calculating a total price of operation of the computer corresponding to the selection of the option;configuring the computer to operate in accordance with the selection of the option; andaccumulating charges for operation of the computer according to the total price.


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