America Online has quietly secured a patent that could potentially shake up the competitive landscape for instant messaging software. The patent, filed in September this year, grants AOL instant messaging subsidiary ICQ rights as the inventor of the popular IM Internet application. The patent covers anything resembling a network that allows multiple users to see when other users are present and then to communicate with them.


http://www.msnbc.com/news/848770.asp?0dm=C14KT&cp1=1


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