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3/7/2006
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Microsoft Receives 5,000th U.S. Patent

The technology allows gamers to compete in online video games, but also keep to the sidelines as a spectator and watch the game from anywhere in the world.

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday said the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has granted the Redmond, Wash. software company its five-thousandth patent.

Patent No. 6,999,083 allows gamers to compete in online video games, but also keep to the sidelines as a spectator and watch the game from anywhere in the world.

Xbox 360 games will feature the newly patent technology allowing consumers to tune into a video game as they would a sporting event broadcast on mobile device, television, or online.

The patent relates to a host of technologies. Some features are included in portions of Xbox Live. It can generate highlights, instant replays, and unique views of the action within a game.

Viewing controls allow a person watching an online video game to control one or more virtual cameras, selecting the desired viewpoints or an automated camera control to frame the action and perform specific cuts to best convey the action.

The portal allows a person to find the most popular game to watch by previewing the action and then connecting to the desired game or event.

Microsoft said it has used an "expanding IP portfolio" to launch several "development-seeding licensing initiatives," including IP Ventures, a program dedicated to bringing technology to emerging businesses.

Spending billions annually in research and development, Microsoft has been granted more than 7,000 patents worldwide. The company's goal, is to file 3,000 patents annually.

Past license agreements have been granted to companies including Autodesk Inc., Inrix Inc., Motorola Inc., Palm Inc., SAP AG, Softedge-Systems, Sony Ericsson, Sun Microsystems Inc., Symbian Ltd., and Turbolinux Inc.

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