MicroSoft have patented the prediction markets.

Well, at least, one aspect of the prediction markets.

Uniited States Patent Application:



A user participates in trading securities in a prediction market which represent different outcomes of an event, using an interface which allows the user to understand a trade in terms of a bet. The interface also allows the user to explore different bet amounts while receiving feedback on potential payoffs in real time. In one approach, a tool is used which is moved in one direction by the user to indicate a larger trade for an outcome, or in the opposite direction to indicate a larger trade against the outcome. A bet for an outcome can be translated into a purchase of a corresponding security which represents the outcome. A bet against a particular outcome can be translated into a purchase of securities which represents all other outcomes. The user interfaces hides complexities of the market from the user while surfacing relevant information.

Inventors: BERG- HENRY G.- (Redmond, WA) – PROEBSTING- TODD A.- (Redmond, WA)

I won&#8217-t comment on this, because I believe that the US patent system is broken, generally speaking.