Elf Qrin's Cyber Lab

since 1999

Microsoft patents 0 and 1

Redmond -- In what CEO Bill Gates called "an unfortunate but necessary step to protect our intellectual property from theft and exploitation by competitors," the Microsoft Corporation patented the numbers one and zero Friday.

At a press conference beamed live to Microsoft shareholders around the globe, Bill Gates announces the company's patenting of the binary system.

With the patent, Microsoft's rivals are prohibited from manufacturing or selling products containing zeroes and ones -- the mathematical building blocks of all computer languages and programs -- unless a royalty fee of 10 cents per digit used is paid to the software giant.