Hulu Sued For Violating 'TV Guide' Patent

from the because-without-that,-no-one-would-have-thought-of-it dept

Earlier this year, we noted that Rovi (the hip new name for DRM company Macrovision) had taken a bunch of the patents it got when it bought Gemstar/TV Guide a few years back, and sued Amazon for daring to offer a TV listing on IMDB. Apparently Rovi is having so much fun suing people for doing totally obvious things that it’s expanded the effort and is now suing Hulu as well. It’s interesting to see that it’s actually using different patents in this case, compared to in the Amazon case, but that doesn’t make them any less questionable:

  • 6,396,546: “Electronic television program guide schedule system and method”
  • 7,103,906: “User controlled multi-device media-on-demand system”
  • 7,769,775: “Search engine for video and graphics with access authorization”

Yet another case where actually doing the obvious thing to provide the obvious service you want to offer… gets you sued. America’s innovation system at work.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: gemstar, hulu, macrovision, rovi

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Comments on “Hulu Sued For Violating 'TV Guide' Patent”

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The problem with software...

The problem with software patents is that they ultimately break down into algorithms that don’t necessarily have any thing to do with computers. You can implement these techniques in the absence of a computing machine.

A copy of TV Guide from 1953 is a great example of this.

So you end up with new patents on 50 year old “technology”.



I remember the tv schedule off the top of my head. Does the storage of TV guide information in my brain constitute a violation of these patents?
On a side note, how many patents do you think the human brain infringes on? “Device and system for analysis and storage of life events as sensory input information”, “Device and system for the control of bodily functions through electrical impulses to the nervous system (patent pending)” …?

The Devil's Coachmansays:


You can learn to be a scumbag, simply by watching companies such as Rovi, which seems to be populated entirely by scumbags. They can teach you a thing or two about how to be a sub-human parasite, as well as some tips on how to get blood out of turnips, and how to be a complete drag on society, while serving no useful purpose whatsoever. Look, watch, learn. They have a lot to show you, and you probably ain’t seen nothing yet.

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