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Microsoft's Virtual Skywriting Patent App Features the Real Thing 66

theodp writes "GeekWire reports that Microsoft this week was awarded a patent on something it calls 'virtual skywriting', an augmented reality service that adds fake skywriting to scenes captured on a cell phone screen. Odd enough in its own right, but Microsoft also included an unattributed photo in the patent application which it described as 'an example of virtual skywriting in use,' although it certainly appears to be identical to a famous image of actual skywriting from a 2001 public art project. If that turns out to be the case, could the self-described opponent of half-baked patents and IP misuse find itself in hot water with the USPTO for using the 'prior art' to fake its fake skywriting?"

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