Andy Porter picks up a slashdot thread and techdirt posting about a recent Microsoft patent filing:

Slashdot is reporting that Microsoft have taken out a patent on "Emotiflags". To quote from the patent; "While composing an email message, a user may associate an emotiflag with the email message such that when the email message is sent, the emotiflag is sent with the email message."

Hmmm. Well to quote a comment on the slashdot thread from alpha.fb; "Exact same feature is found in Lotus Notes, dating back at least to Notes 5... Don't they check anything ? Heck, isn't the Notes guy now in charge of something in M$". Alpha.fb is of course correct, mood stamps have been a feature of Lotus Notes since version 4.x in 1996.

Perhaps you could argue that this is more a critique of the flaws in the software patenting system than any particular vendor but I have been involved in several patent investigations and the first thing you look for is prior art. Especially if it has been in your competitors product for 10 years!
Link: Ports Thoughts: Microsoft patents old stuff (also seen at Dec's Dom Blog) >

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