Blockbuster, Netflix at patent loggerheads

Summary:In response to a patent infringement suit file against the video and game rental giant by snail-mail rental Cinderella Netflix, Blockbuster is now claiming that Netflix's patents are baseless.  According to Reuters: Blockbuster on Tuesday said the lawsuit is based on patents that Netflix obtained deceptively in a bid to monopolize online rentals.....

In response to a patent infringement suit file against the video and game rental giant by snail-mail rental Cinderella Netflix, Blockbuster is now claiming that Netflix's patents are baseless.  According to Reuters:

Blockbuster on Tuesday said the lawsuit is based on patents that Netflix obtained deceptively in a bid to monopolize online rentals....."There is nothing original about renting movies or subscription rental programs," Blockbuster lawyer Marshall Grossman said, noting that both were widely practiced long before any such invention by Netflix....."(That is) like a fast-food restaurant trying to patent selling hamburgers through a drive-through window," he added.

And this (or the fact that the US Patent and Trademark Office issues such patents) is suprising because why? What else does one usually get a patent for other than (a) to monopolize something (b) to keep from getting sued by someone else. The big question here, whether it's mailed rentals or buy it now buttons,  is whether or not business process should be patented.  Or how about swinging on a swing? Sidways.  I still can't help but wonder if patent infringement has bypassed global warming as the biggest threat to human existence.

Topics: Patents

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David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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