Is this a patent for Microsoft's ribbon? It was issued to Microsoft on Feb 14, 2012. Fig. 2 looks like a ribbon, and is described like this: "FIG 2 is an illustration of a computer screen display showing a ribbon shaped user interface for displaying task based top level functionality tabs and for displaying a plurality functionalities available under a selected top level functionality tab".
If this is indeed a ribbon patent, what impact would that have if I implemented my own ribbon? Could Microsoft take me to court?
There already exists a ribbon component for Qt (I'm successfully using it for my project)
Regarding your question about Ribbon license (from devmachines page):
If you create an application that uses QtitanRibbon components, you must agree to a licensing agreement with Microsoft for the Ribbon UI before you can deploy your application. You receive no rights in the Ribbon UI from Developer Machines. You can request a license from Microsoft at
In short: Microsoft gives you a rights to use Ribbon style for free if you follow all ribbon guidance.
- QtitanRibbon isn't free.
- I'd rather not sign a Microsoft license agreement since that would deviate from LGPL. Is it really wise to let Microsoft get a licensing foothold on other platforms?
A ribbon isn't hard to implement so I'd rather do it myself. There has been a lot of opinion in the various forums that Microsoft couldn't patent the ribbon because of all the Prior Art out there. If they indeed have a patent that could complicate matters. It's also a little crazy. Is someone going to patent radio buttons next?
It shouldn't even be possible to patent common concepts, the whole patent story is getting ridiculous. Here we have patent troll Apple, claiming to have invented the rounded rectangle, which is preposterous.