Microsoft Patents Ones, ZeroesSubmitted by Chris Madcowski on Tue, 03/25/2014 - 22:24
REDMOND, WA—In what CEO Bill Gates called "an unfortunate but necessary step to protect our intellectual property from theft and exploitation by competitors," the Microsoft Corporation patented the numbers one and zero Monday.
At a press conference beamed live to Microsoft shareholders around the globe, Bill Gates announces the company's patenting of the binary system.
With the patent, Microsoft's rivals are prohibited from manufacturing or selling products containing zeroes and ones—the mathematical building blocks of all computer languages and programs—unless a royalty fee of 10 cents per digit used is paid to the software giant.
"Microsoft has been using the binary system of ones and zeroes ever since its inception in 1975," Gates told reporters. "For years, in the interest of the overall health of the computer industry, we permitted the free and unfettered use of our proprietary numeric systems. However, changing marketplace conditions and the increasingly predatory practices of certain competitors now leave us with no choice but to seek compensation for the use of our numerals."
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