Automatic Software Downloading Now Patented

from the how-is-this-not-obvious? dept

The latest in a long line of patent hoarding companies to come out of nowhere with a patent for something obvious to threaten lots of companies is British Technology Group. They’re now waving around a a patent for automatic software downloads for things like anti-virus updates and are threatening a number of companies, including Microsoft, if they don’t pay up. First off, there must be some prior art on this. Automatic software downloads are hardly a “new” technology. It would also be interesting to hear how this is possibly “non-obvious” considering that tons of companies offer this feature on their software, and its unlikely that most of them did so because they dug up some obscure patent and “stole” the idea. Instead, they just implemented a perfectly obvious idea to improve their own software. Now, thanks to the patent hoarding process, just about any software product that needs regular automatic updates will be more expensive, or won’t work properly. This is innovation?

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