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Microsoft Files Patent for Dragable Tabs in Browsers

The patent, filed in September of 2010 and published on March 15, 2012 specifically relates to the Aero Snap feature in IE9, which enables side-by-side reading of web pages in different browser windows.

The patent claims rights to pulling a tab from an existing tab bar and displaying the content of the active web page in a new browser instance when dragged to an area outside the previous browser window. It will be difficult for Microsoft to claim such rights, however, based on prior art claims that can be made by other browser makers. Additional claims that may problematic are the features to drag a tab within the same band to a different location as well as to a tab band in another browser instance.

Of course, the true patented feature is Aero Snap to enable viewing of web pages next to each other. However, some of the total 20 claims made by Microsoft are rather general and may not be enforceable, if this patent application is granted.

  • errorcode99
    All i have to say about this is HAHAHAHA.
  • del35
    Sounds like Apple's ways are catching on.
  • No. No. NO. Stop this madness microsoft.

    Honestly, some people just want the world to burn
  • freggo
    What's next? Patenting the FILE location on the top left of window menus ?
  • darkstar845
    What, seriously?
  • mrpijey
    Even if it's bad that you can patent these kind of things it's understandable why MS does it. They rather patent it, or someone else will and then come back to sue Microsoft.

    Remember, even if MS patents this doesn't mean they will sue everyone else that do a similiar thing. But in the corporate world you're either the predator or the prey. And when it comes to patents it's a very dirty and corrupt game, especially with software patents where everything can be patented, regardless how silly and insignificant it is.
  • mrmaia
    Soon someone will patent the concept of clicking and dragging.
  • mariusmotea
    What if Opera (or who invent the tabs) patent the tabs in browsers?
  • msgun98
    If you can't beat the competition (aka: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.), sue em.
  • raringcoder
    mrmaiaSoon someone will patent the concept of clicking and dragging.Fairly certain Apple did something very close to this with "slide to unlock"... when mouse / touch expressions become patentable, we have more problems than we care to realise.