Google and YouTube got a ton of press coverage for releasing their new video ad overlay program
on Tuesday evening. However, despite some amount of fawning
from some tech publications, many people noted that the ads were remarkably similar to the format the startup VideoEgg launched nearly a year ago. The folks over at VideoEgg are trying to figure out what to do in response -- which apparently includes potentially filing a patent lawsuit against Google
. VideoEgg has apparently applied for patents on just such an advertising system -- though the patents haven't been granted yet, so there's not much VideoEgg can do on that front for the time being. Of course, you could argue that what they're doing isn't all that different than ads that have been on TV for years... but we'll let the patent office sort that out. So far, however, VideoEgg seems to have figured out the best strategy: using this to get much more attention for itself. It's been making sure that people know it had the idea first, and (as of right now) changed its website
to say in HUGE letters "Welcome, YouTube. Seriously." Then it notes that it's nice to see the rest of the market catch up. Hopefully this won't descend into a patent battle -- as VideoEgg is right. It is nice to see the rest of the market catch up, and hopefully this will drive many of the players in the market (including VideoEgg) to improve upon the offering even further. That's what competition is all about. Update
: In the meantime, it looks like plenty of others are out there claiming that they came up with the idea first
, once again showing how many different "inventions" are really just the next obvious step, as so many different parties come up with the same thing at once. Hopefully, that's evidence enough to deny a patent.