RealNetworks Slapped With Patent Suit

from the more-patent-stupidity dept

Can a day go by when we don’t hear about a small technology firm with a patent (but no business model) suing a larger company that has actually built something that people use? The latest is a company named Friskit, who describes themselves as a “technology licensing company”, founded by a former exec (who clearly know a thing or two about questionable patents) suing Real Networks. Friskit claims they have a series of patents that revolve around searching a network for streaming media. Yes, they somehow received three patents that detail how you can search online for streaming media. They say that Real and (who Real is in the process of buying) is violating those patents. The idea behind patent protection was to protect the “inventor” of the idea from having it ripped off by larger companies. However, most of these crazy patent cases today are being done by companies who aren’t working on their own products. They’re sitting on patents, doing nothing with them, until someone else comes up with the same (most likely pretty obvious) idea and actually does something. That’s not protecting innovation. It’s harming innovation by making it more difficult to innovate without paying a toll to someone who contributed nothing towards actually making the world better.

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