The Secret Origins of Clippy: Microsoft’s Bizarre Animated Character Patents

By  |  Friday, January 2, 2009 at 12:31 am

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Animated Chat Patent

Use of Avatars With Automated Gesturing and Bounded Interaction in an On-Line Chat Session

Filed December 14th, 1995

Here’s a patent for an early chat system involving animated characters–a sort of mid-1990s Second Life. (I’m not sure if Microsoft ever released anything based on this.) It’s not often that you see a smiley face with a torso.

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