Sunday, May 29, 2005

Patent absurdities are plain unsporting

Take this [Microsoft] application for "Efficient string searches using numeric keypad". The details of this work of genius: "Contacts are stored in memory on a mobile device with a limited input device containing input points. Each input point corresponds to a subset of the alphabet. For each contact, a string comprising characters representing the input points that correspond to the letters of the alphabet contained in the name of the contact is generated and saved with the contact in the memory. When a user desires to retrieve a contact, the user presses the input point that corresponds to the subset of the alphabet containing the first letter in the name of that contact. A prefix search for the character representing that input point is performed on the saved generated strings. Any contacts containing a matching string are then presented to the user. "

That's what we, you and a billion others do every day when we look up contacts in our mobile phones — and what Microsoft is claiming to have recently invented.


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