Microsoft has filed a patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office, relating to the virtual 'page-turning' technology used by many e-book readers, tech news website The Register has reported.
Microsoft's application for patent number 20100175018 indicates that the company is looking to patent the page-turning animation that occurs when a user makes the appropriate hand gesture on the touch screen of an e-book reader device.
The filing reads: “The virtual page turn curls a lifted portion of the page to progressively reveal a back side of the page while progressively revealing a front side of a subsequent page.”
If Microsoft is awarded the patent, it's likely to spark a dispute with Apple, whose e-book reader for its iPad device uses just such a feature. Other e-book readers that incorporate virtual page-turning features are Amazon's Kindle app for the iPhone and iPad, Aldiko for Android and Stanza for iPhone.