Microsoft announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently awarded Microsoft Corp. its 10,000th U.S. patent.
The Microsoft invention, U.S. Patent No. 7,479,950, applies to surface computing technology and outlines how users can place real objects on the computer’s tablelike display and the computer will automatically identify the objects and track their position, orientation and motion.
Even for a company of the size of Microsoft 10,000 patents is a big milestone. Of course they are not beating the king of patents IBM. Their site says that they hold currently 40,000 patents world-wide.Microsoft currently ranks fourth among companies receiving the most U.S. patents, with just over 2,000 patents in 2008. The company spends about US$8 billion a year on R&D, more than any other company in the industry.
Via this Microsoft announcement.