The “Page Up” and “Page Down” keys have been a feature of keyboards for more than twenty five years, but late last month, they also became partly the intellectual property of Microsoft. It appears that the software giant has been granted proprietary rights to “a method and system in a document viewer for scrolling a substantially exact increment in a document.”
Microsoft applied for the patent in 2005, but it wasn’t until August 19 of this year that it was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The company has a long history of applying for patents that many argue were based on earlier work carried out by others, and has most notably been granted patents for such ubiquitous tech as double-clicking and mouse scroll-wheels. In any case, it is not clear whether this new patent will even be enforceable given the fact that such simple functionality has been around for ages.