Curious Rat

It's Official: The Patent System is Out of Control →

ᔥ ExtremeTech:

Microsoft has filed for a Kinect-related patent, and it’s a doozy of an application. The abstract describes a camera-based system that would monitor the number of viewers in a room and check to see if the number of occupants exceeded a certain threshold set by the content provider. If there are too many warm bodies present, the device owner would be prompted to purchase a license for a greater number of viewers.

A company filing a patent means nothing until the feature is actually implemented. Apple patents tons of ideas that never make it into products.

However, why is Microsoft allowed to patent this at all? And if the feature is enabled, can the government do anything to stop it?

I'm not asking that like a Dateline correspondent, I'm seriously wondering.