infoTECH Feature

August 25, 2008

Microsoft Files Patents for 'InPrivate' and 'Cleartracks' Browser Privacy Tools

Microsoft (News - Alert) has reportedly applied for trademarks to protect two of its Internet tools, InPrivate and Cleartracks. Microsoft indicated that these tools could be part of the upcoming version of Internet Explorer 8 Web browser.
According to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records, reported, Microsoft applied to trademark the name “Cleartracks” on July 30, under the term “computer programs for accessing and using the Internet and the World Wide Web, and computer programs for deleting search history after accessing Web sites.”
Another trademark application was filed on the same day to trademark the name “InPrivate” under the term “computer programs for disabling the history of file caching features of a Web browser, and computer software for notifying a user of a Web browser when others are tracking Web use and for controlling the information others can access about such use,” the report said, referring U.S Patent and Trademark Office records.
The two trademark applications were filed by William Ferron, a Seattle-based trademark attorney, on behalf of Microsoft, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The two new tools will create a more ‘private’ Web browsing experience to users that would allow them to surf the Web without leaving a trace of their Internet usage.
Most of the current Web browsers, including Internet Explorer 7, leave trails of user data,  allowing others to follow user’s path across the Web. This feature of the Web browsers has, however, helped law enforcement officials to track suspected criminals. Many organizations depend on such data to watch their employees’ Internet habits. In some other cases, couples use this feature of the Web to track the activities of their disloyal partners over the Internet.
Internet Explorer 8 is currently in beta testing. It is scheduled to be released later this year. According to Microsoft, Internet Explorer 8 will feature enhanced browser capabilities and built-in tools to take the Web experience “beyond the page.” With better interoperability and compatibility with other applications, the new Web browser will enhance a “seamless” experience of the Web, Microsoft said.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Mae Kowalke

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