That Whole Watch An Ad To Get Content Thing? Patented... And The Patent Holder Has Been Suing

from the watch-out dept

So we were just talking about some new company called Free All Music, which has a plan to let people download free mp3s if they agree to watch a video ad first. I have my doubts about how well it would work... but apparently the company may also need to watch out for another issue: a bogus patent. You see, there's some company called Ultramercial, who not only holds a US patent 7,346,545 on the concept of distributing content where the user can get it for free after watching an ad, but Ultramercial recently went legal. Just a few days ago, it sued Hulu, YouTube and WildTangent for infringement over that very patent. Seriously, USPTO? A patent on watching an ad before getting free content? This is why patent examiners get such a bad rap.

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  1. icon
    Matt (profile), 2 Oct 2009 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Sue the USPTO

    They get the money for the application. They can deny it at the end and still get the money.

    They are overworked, underpaid, and headed for a revolving door into a private patent practice (in which they will represent stupid patent applications before the PTO). There are few PTO "lifers".

    The real problem is not the motivation or even the workload of the PTO. It is its existence. Patents are silly. Congress has experimented with them for long enough - it should feel free to abolish them now that they no longer do any real work.

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