It's official. Microsoft has received it's 5,000th patent in the United States - officially patent number 6,999,083, which outlines the 'spectator' mode and experience on the Xbox 360. Of course, Microsoft is far behind IBM, which has over 25,000 patents, and others like Intel, Sony, and HP. But, Microsoft has a goal of filing for 3,000 patents per year.
And Microsoft also intends to model it's patent licensing structure based on these companies. More monopoly? Well, that's 5,000 more ideas, which you can't have unless, you pay - of course. :)