Another day gone by and another story about some company claiming a random patent concerning a business they're not even in. In this case, it's a patent from the same company that has managed to squeeze a ton of money out of companies by claiming to own a patent on the compression of images used in .jpg images. Now they claim they hold a patent on the concept behind DVRs, thanks to a vague patent that talks about recording TV signals on computers. Once again, you have to ask two important questions: how is that non-obvious enough to deserve a patent? It was a clear evolution of the technology. Second, why do we allow the patent system to work this way when it's clearly not rewarding innovation at all, but actively punishing those companies that innovate? Meanwhile, with TiVo building up their own patent portfolio, it looks like we'll have yet another patent cold war involving all of this nuclear stockpiling. At what point do people realize that the system is broken? It's not encouraging innovation. It's just making some patent lawyers wealthier while taking money out of research and development of new, innovative products.
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