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 Character Patent

Modulating the Behavior of an Animated Character to Reflect Beliefs Inferred About a User’s Desire for Automated Services

Filed May 17th, 1997

The best whacko patents have wonderfully deadpan names; this one is an excellent example. There’s something vaguely spiritual about it. I’m not sure if it ever led to a shipping product; I sure don’t remember a little birdie notifying me about new e-mail or reminding me about appointments.

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