Patent Stupidity – "Help" Icon Patent (1998) Used to Kill Japanese Word Processor

ComputerWorld NZ has a story about how a Japanese company has been forced to withdraw its word processor (the only significant rival to MS Word in Japan) from the market because another company holds patent number JP,2803236,B granted in 1998 for the “Help” icon.

To see the patent in question, go to the Japanese Patent & Utility Model Gazette DB and enter a "kind code" of B and a number of 2803236.

I’ve taken the liberty of extracting the English translation from their database for easy reference, read on for it.

* NOTICES *

JPO and NCIPI are not responsible for any
damages caused by the use of this translation.

1.This document has been translated by computer. So the translation may not reflect the original precisely.

2.**** shows the word which can not be translated.

3.In the drawings, any words are not translated.

CLAIMS

(57) [Claim(s)]

[Claim 1] A display means to display on the display screen the 2nd icon for performing the 1st icon which performs the function on which the functional description of an icon is displayed and predetermined information processing function, An assignment means to specify the icon displayed on the display screen of said display means, The information processor characterized by having the control means which displays the functional description of said 2nd icon on the display screen of said display means according to the assignment of the 2nd icon which follows assignment of the 1st icon by said assignment means.

[Claim 2] Said control means is an information processor according to claim 1 characterized by performing the predetermined information processing function of said 2nd icon when assignment of the 2nd icon by said assignment means is not immediately after assignment of the 1st icon.

[Claim 3] It is the information processing approach which controls equipment equipped with the input device which inputs data, and the display which displays data. The 2nd icon for performing the 1st icon which performs the function on which a functional description is displayed and predetermined information processing function is displayed on the display screen. The information processing approach characterized by displaying the functional description of said 2nd icon on the display screen according to assignment of the 2nd icon which follows assignment of the 1st icon.

Now read on for the "Detailed Description if you want.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[Detailed Description of the Invention]

Field of the Invention This invention relates to the information processor which performs functional descriptions, such as Japanese DTP and a word processor.

Prior art In order to aim at a recent years more good man machine interface, the information processor equipped with pointing equipments, such as a mouse, was developed, and the many have adopted the windowing system. However, after preparing a functional description key, and explaining all the functions that have this equipment by the depression of that functional description key about a functional description or starting the application of a functional description, there are many things into which a keyword is made to input.

Technical problem which it is going to solve by this invention However, by this approach, when you forget a keyword, or when not knowing, functional description service cannot be received.
The means for solving a technical problem In order to solve this technical problem this invention A display means to display on the display screen the 2nd icon for performing the 1st icon which performs the function on which the functional description of an icon is displayed and predetermined information processing function, It considered as the configuration which has an assignment means to specify the icon displayed on the display screen of a display means, and the control means which displays the functional description of the 2nd icon on the display screen of a display means according to the assignment of the 2nd icon which follows assignment of the 1st icon by the assignment means.

Operation After specifying the 1st icon, the functional description of the 2nd icon is made by specifying the 2nd icon directly to know the functional description of the 2nd icon which shows a predetermined information processing function by this configuration.

Example The information processor in one example of this invention is explained referring to an accompanying drawing.

Fig. 1 is a functional block diagram of the information processor in one example of this invention.
In Fig. 1 , 1 is equipment as which the window which expresses a display and is controlled by the window control section is displayed, or the contents of explanation are displayed by the application of a functional description.

If 2 expresses pointing equipment (mouse), is being interlocked with the mouse cursor in the window displayed on the display 1 and moves this equipment all around, synchronizing with it, it will be an input device which a mouse cursor moves to the upper and lower sides and right and left, and the actuation of a press, a release, a drag, a click, etc. of it will be attained by operating an attached carbon button.

3 is a window control section and controls actuation of a display of a window etc.

4 is the screen information storage section and memorizes the location and magnitude of a window on a screen.

5 is the window information storage section and memorizes the display information inside where such information is displayed in a window, and a window.

6 is the analysis section and analyzes with what kind of parameter functional description application was specified.

It judges what was specified as a candidate for explanation from the location of a mouse cursor from the window information storage section 5.

7 is a processing program and is a program which edits and displays an actual explanatory note.
The control procedure of the information processor of the above configuration is explained according to the flow chart of Fig. 2 . First, it gets to know what kind of object is in which location on the display screen of an indicating equipment 1 with reference to the window information storage section 5 at step S1. That is, the display-position data of the icon which directs various kinds of processing commands currently displayed on the indicating equipment 1 are obtained. Next, although it distinguishes whether the icon which directs a functional description in step S2 was specified, the class of icon currently displayed on the location is discriminated from the location of a mouse cursor when the carbon button prepared in pointing equipment 2 is pushed here. And if the specified icon is an icon which directs a functional description, it will shift to step S3, and the icon which directs a functional description with migration of pointing equipment 2 is moved. If the carbon button of pointing equipment 2 is detached by step S4, it will shift to step S5, the class of function in which a functional description should be performed will be discriminated from the data of the location of the icon which directs a functional description when a carbon button is detached, and the data obtained from the window information storage section 5, the application of a functional description will be started, and a functional description will be performed. By decision of step S2, when it is not a functional description icon, functional actuation which shifts to step S6 and is shown by the specified icon is performed, and control of the flow chart of Fig. 2 is ended by termination of the function.
First, as shown in Fig. 3 , it is opened by the window, and at this time, as screen information, the positional information of a window, magnitude, etc. are memorized and two or more rectangular home menus are expressed as the above configuration in a window. At this time, functional description application is displayed in the form of an icon shown by the round mark.

And pointing equipment 2 is moved, and superposition and a mouse button are pressed in up to the functional description icon of a round mark, the mouse cursor shown by the arrow head is dragged to up to the object for explanation, it moves, and a mouse button is released. For example, it moves onto a communicative icon. The analysis section judges which object on a screen was chosen from screen information, window information, the mouse cursor position at the time of drag initiation, and drag movement magnitude.

Based on this information, the analysis section can start functional description application and can pass a parameter. And as shown in Fig. 4 , a communicative functional description sentence is displayed in a window.

Fig. 5 shows the example of a display of the functional description when moving to the location of a scroll bar in which it was prepared by the amount of [ of a window ] frame part, and releasing the icon of the round mark of a functional description. As shown in a **** 6 Fig. , the example in the case of making it move onto the menu message currently displayed on another window is shown.

Effect of the invention A display means to display on the display screen the 2nd icon for this invention to perform the 1st icon which performs the function on which the functional description of an icon is displayed and predetermined information processing function as mentioned above, An assignment means to specify the icon displayed on the display screen of a display means, By having considered as the configuration which has the control means which displays the functional description of said 2nd icon on the display screen of a display means according to the assignment of the 2nd icon which follows assignment of the 1st icon by the assignment means After specifying the 1st icon, since the functional description of the 2nd icon is made, the information processor excellent in operability can be offered by specifying the 2nd icon directly to know the functional description of the 2nd icon which shows a predetermined information processing function.

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