I’m Going To Patent the Patent!

Would that be possible? -to patent the process of patenting? I’m sure someone’s tried it by now, or maybe it’s written in patent law that the whole process of patenting cannot be patented. Hmmm…I wonder?
Anyway, the whole reason why I’m curious about all this is because it seems lately there has been an absurd amount of patent wars. Almost like the United States has been notorious in recent years of being overly litigious (ie. woman sues McDonalds after being burned by hot coffee); it seems we’re now becoming (in the business world) overly patent hungry. Lately it seems every time I read a tech article or listen to a tech based news channel or podcast, that some corporation is battling with another company over who patented what, who owes whom how much, or who has the rights to the patent, etc, etc…
These are just a few of the more recent examples I can think of:
(ask yourself this: how rediculous do these sound?)

– Philips Electronics has recently filed for a patent that would allow them to restrict the skipping/ forwarding of commercials during playback of recorded programming. It seems they also would want to restrict persons from changing channels during playback of recorded commercials as well. Hmmm… seem sketchy? I think so!

– Burst.com has filed a suit against Apple Corporation, claming that they have infringed on Burst’s patent on downloading media content “faster than real-time”. For example, from what I understand, Burst claims they have the patent on the downloading of a 1 hour show in less time than one hour. So cable television delivers their shows to you in real-time, whereas Burst patented the “less than real-time” delivery of that same show. Make sense? Did I just get confusing?? Check it out for youself here!

– Here is a sort of uplifting/ sad story about a man named Geoff Goodfellow, who supposedly invented and patented the idea of wireless email long before it was possible or even dreamed up. He won’t ever profit from the idea, and seems quite ok with that notion. Good for him, it seems he has a wider view of the world than most people, and doesn’t feel the need to be patent crazy.

– this one really pisses me off: Netflix, the internet movie ordering company, has sued Blockbuster for creating its own online movie ordering system. They (Netflix) claims that they hold the patent of online queueing and mailing/ delivering of movies. WOW, I can’t believe that a general idea like this can even be patented. Seems strange to me…

– TiVo, the makers/ developers of the popular set-top boxes that pause/ record/ fast forward/ save live television, is suing Dish Network, claiming they own the patent on pausing live television. Hmm, is there a familiar theme going on here??

This is all the examples I have for now, but let me just say this:
What gives? Why can no American corporation be happy with where it stands, or with the profits it is making? I know, I know… “The American Dream”, “The Pursuit of Health, Wealth, and Happiness”, “Manifest Destiny”, “Socialism”, “Communism”, “Totalitarianism”, etc, etc… you get my drift!
But come on, why must every company have their hand in every cookie jar in America (or the world for that matter)? Why can’t we all get along? Is there a happy medium? What about the ‘Greater Good‘ mentality of utilitarianism and community wellbeing? Is that too much to ask, or do we all have to thrust out our chests and say “that was me” whenever our own ideas are out in the public air?

…I’m tired…


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