Unequivocal writes "According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Yahoo has filed a patent for "smart" drag and drop. From the article:
"There have been a series of new [patent] applications... some of which are pretty broad and outrageous. For example, check out this one from Yahoo! claiming to have patented "smart" drag-and-drop technology. Here's claim one:
A computer-implemented method for manipulating objects in a user interface, comprising:
How do these patent claims differ from normal drag and drop? In pretty trivial ways if at all. From the EFF article "You drag, you drop, you infringe!" But it may be hard for a patent examiner to understand that trivial changes in drag and drop user interface are not in fact novel enough to warrant a patent. If Yahoo gets this patent, they'll have a mighty big stick to shake at competitors. Which is of course the whole purpose of the current, broken patent system."
- providing the user interface including a first interface object operable to be selected and moved within the user interface; and
- in response to selection and movement of the first interface object in the user interface, presenting at least one additional interface object in the user interface in proximity of the first interface object, each additional interface object representing a drop target with which the first interface object may be associated."