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Microsoft gets bleeping patent

October 21, 2008

CNet
October 20, 2008

The software maker last week was granted U.S. patent No. 7437290 for,
essentially, a technology that lets the company bleep out words in an
audio stream that match a list of predefined bad words.

Ars Technica, which reported on the patent both when Microsoft
applied for it in 2004 as well as now that it has been granted, notes
that the technology could be used for more than just censoring
profanity, suggesting that perhaps China or another government would
want it employed for other phrases, such as Tibet or free speech.

Ars notes that the technology could be particularly adept if applied
to cell phone audio given that cell phones have proved an important
tool for dissidents aiming to organize.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, it wasn't able to use the technology in
time to thwart this new ad from Apple.

The patent is just the latest in Microsoft's growing arsenal of
patents, which the company has been aggressively licensing in recent years.
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