A bunch of people have submitted today's fun "how did that ever get approved?!?" patent. An internet design firm now owns a patent on a method for creating rich media online. Considering just how prevalent rich media is becoming, that could cover an awful lot -- though, it certainly seems like there was plenty of rich media and rich media creation systems prior to 2001 when this patent was filed. Looking at the details of the patent, though, it does seem more focused on the tools for creating rich media -- but again, it's hard to see why that passes the "non-obvious" test. Also, patents are supposed to be for specific implementations, but that's clearly not the case here at all. Even the owner of the new patent notes: "The patent covers all rich-media technology implementations including Flash, Flex, Java, AJAX and XAML and all device footprints which access rich-media Internet applications including desktops, mobile devices, set-top boxes and video game consoles." That certainly doesn't seem like a specific implementation. If this really were for a "non-obvious" idea... then how is that there's so much rich media online today without everyone taking the ideas from this patent?
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