Blockbuster, Netflix at patent loggerheads

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.....

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TOPICS: Patents
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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.

Topic: Patents

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3 comments
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  • How could the Blockbuster claim even be considered?

    When Netflix filed for the patent, Blockbuster was still a simple brick and morter, walk in, rent it, pay your late fees organization. In fact, looking that far back, no one was even considering the option of online rentals since the internet was not up to the speed requirements for the average user.

    Granted, the patent is a bit on the convoluted side, but the simple fact is that Netflix filed long before BB got into the game.
    Timpraetor
  • RE: Blockbuster, Netflix at patent loggerheads

    The patent for online rental is flawed and should never have been issued/should be invalidated.
    jemd@...
    • Point is, it was awarded

      Regardless of whether it was right, it was awarded. Therefore, Netflix must agressivily protect the patent.

      Now, if BB were to require a reexamination and actually invalidate the patent, things would change. Until then, Netflix (and any patent holder) [b]MUST[/b] protect its patents.
      Timpraetor