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Netflix believes Blockbuster copied the way it allows customers to rent movies over the Internet

Netflix recently accused Blockbuster Inc. for patent infringement and has asked a federal judge to shut down Blockbuster's online movie rental service, according to reports.  Netflix holds two patents, one of which was issued on Tuesday.  The lawsuit states that Netflix's second patent, issued yesterday, "covers a method for subscription-based online rental that allows subscribers to keep the DVDs they rent for as long as they wish without incurring any late fees, to obtain new DVDs without incurring additional charges and to prioritize and reprioritize their own personal dynamic queue--of DVDs to be rented," the lawsuit claims.

Netflix sends out enough DVDs that it is one of the U.S. Postal Service's highest volume customers.  Netflix has also had a very strong impact on the way Blockbuster operates:  The movie rental chain store decided to drop late fees last year for all tardy rentals.

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RE: bleh
By Pythias on 4/5/2006 4:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
You cannot patent a least it shouldnt be allowed. What if someone had patented the car wash? Or the restaurant? Or the striptease? Music concerts?
Seleling a service is not a new idea, neither is selling a service online.

RE: bleh
By jconan on 4/5/2006 9:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
i didn't think they were patenting a service but a business logic/methodology similar to computer algorithims/software patents. the patent office should throw out software patents and business logic patents otherwise there will always be these kinds of patent lawsuits.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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