Its no secret that the US patenting system is somewhat flawed but this one is just beyond me. Neil Balthaser, apparently a former VP of Flash Strategy at Macromedia ("Et tu, Brute"), has been granted a patent covering design and creation of rich-media on the web. He was quoted as saying: "The patent covers all rich-media technology implementations including Flash, Flex, Java, AJAX and XAML and all device footprints which access rich-media Internet applications including desktops, mobile devices, set-top boxes and video game consoles ... Balthaser will be able to provide licenses for almost any rich-media Internet application across a broad range of devices and networks"
How this patent could even be considered is baffling, there is a huge amount of prior art available . Let's just hope they see sense and nullify this one as soon as possible.
I'd better find out if its too late to patent double clicking... :D