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Ribbon patent?

  • 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.

  • Two points:

    1. QtitanRibbon isn't free.
    2. 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.

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