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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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You gotta be kidding....
By stupid on 4/6/2006 12:32:04 PM , Rating: 2
This lawsuit reminds of the “One Click Checkout” technology that Amazon (IIRC) patented and went after on-line stores like Barnes and Noble because they allowed the consumer to quickly click once to purchase a book. I don’t know much about the patent approval process, but some things just should not be given a patent.

I can understand if a company has developed a highly complex business model that took a vast amount of research and development time that produces a unique product or result such developing an economic software model used to build scenarios of the world economy for the next 5 years. But a patent for “this is how we are going to rent DVDs on the internet and make money” is simply ludicrous.

Imagine how rich Henry Ford would have been if he patented the concept of mass production? In today’s would, mass production is a given because all businesses depends on it. The Ford family would be the richest people on Earth if the general concept of mass production has been patented. Bill Gate’s billions of dollars would be a mere drop in the bucket. Just how many businesses are there on this world that depends on some form of mass production to be in business?

Netflix’s concept of the queue is not something that has been developed solely by Netflix. It has been in existence for a long time. How do you place an order for meat in a butcher shop? Take a number, and get in line. Guess what, you’re in a queue. You want to date that hot chick in college? Guess what, you’re in her queue, and possibly in her trash bin. Frivolous patents don’t do anyone any good. It’s really a waste of money and time. Maybe I should get patent my business model so that I can sue all the businesses that infringes on it.

My business model: “Make a profit.”

RE: You gotta be kidding....
By masher2 on 4/6/2006 12:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
> "Imagine how rich Henry Ford would have been if he patented the concept of mass production? ...The Ford family would be the richest people on Earth "

FYI, Henry Ford was, for a while, one of the ten richest on earth...a fortune he earned in large part through the application of his vast array of patents.

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