10 weird tech patents and patent applications

Microsoft knows fact from fiction, patent-wise.

Think the patent field is dry? Not so much. Take a gander at these 10 wild, weird, and wacky tech patents and published patent applications from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Many of them are owned by the tech companies you work with most. Avancept's Thomas E. Ewing, who is an IP attorney, forensics specialist, and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) author, came along for the ride to add some juicy additional commentary for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

With the deluge of news and opinion from blogs and more traditional media, it is difficult even for expert analysts to distinguish between what’s true and what some pundits just say is true. Now Microsoft owns a patent that covers the issue. Essentially, it’s a method of detecting fact versus opinion via computer. Titled “Distinguishing Facts from Opinions Using a Multistage Approach,” an inventor sold this patent to Microsoft in 2010 as you can see from the filing here on said patent 7,668,791.

Image credit: USPTO

By Gina Smith

Gina Smith is a NYT best-selling author of iWOZ, the biography of Steve Wozniak. She is a vet tech journalist and chief of the geek tech site,