Nguyen, Cao (Kevin) – US Patent Examiner – PatentStorm.

It’s sad to see so many patents issued to cover the computer that simply repeat older implementations but use different words.

US Patent 7437677 – Multiple personas for electronic devices
Apple filed this patent to stop people from switching between different “personas” based on where they were. For example, someone at work might want one setup of their desktop, and when they’re at home, they might want a different one. So what they’ve done is to use a word “persona” to replace the word “account”.

US Patent 7454709 – User definable on-line co-user lists
Though instant messaging has been around since the 70s, apparently the idea of “grouping” was novel enough to merit a patent. There are many trademarked names for “buddy lists”, and in 1999 AOL lost their right to their trademark of the term “buddy list” (, yet this patent wasn’t filed until 2003.

US Patent 7464344 – Systems and methods for immersive advertising
This patent covers almost any kind of advertising that you could think of that could somehow be on a computer. Basically, the people who filed the patent brainstormed every possible kind of advertising that could somehow be used on a computer to extend their previous patent that covered advertisements that could always be visible or could be sometimes be visible on a computer screen.

US Patent 7366995 – Combination tool that zooms in, zooms out, pans, rotates, draws, or manipulates during a drag
This patent means that if there is any kind of thing on display, if you click on it with a mouse, then start dragging your mouse, the thing that is being displayed can change. It is claimed that this will make it easier for people because they can do different things with an

US Patent 7278106 – Method and apparatus for interacting with a source code control system
In 1998 when this patent was filed, the authors made a program that was able to make the Unix style management system more snazzy, more like a “Windows 95 Explorer style interface”. I’m so surprised that nobody thought it would be possible to refine interfaces to make them easier to use, but apparently it’s enough for the US Patent Office.

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