April 18, 2006

Burst-ing Apple's Bubble: Patent axe falls on iTunes

The patent fun continues: Apple is now being sued by Burst technologies - they want 2% of iTunes revenues.

I'm familiar with
Burst (and iTunes/Quicktime), though I don't know the details of the case, so everything I say should be taken with the view that I'm an armchair critic.

In my view, Burst may have been the first to suggest their ideas on media streaming, but mostly (and likely only) because they were (among) the first to look at those problems. That does not make their work novel Intellectual Property. I hope you don't read this as sour grapes or
NIH - when anyone, and pretty much everyone, else looked at the same problems, they arrived at (basically) the same solutions.

Patents are supposed to reward innovation, not discovery - being Einstein, not being Columbus.

A big part of the problem is that challenges really seem to stand on date and prior art, not technical validity - i.e. is it actually innovative? As long as that's the case, we're in the IP equivalent of
the Wild West.

Make sure you're armed when you travel.


Anonymous said...

Yeah these patent lawsuits are getting out of you think Netflix has a case against Blockbuster? They DID innovate the business model and were the first ones to build a service around that...IMHO if this lawsuit were upheld that would make Netflix essentially a monopoly...

Sree Kotay said...

First is not supposed to be the prime criteria, but it seems to be in practice, at least in the software indudstry :/

That's a big part of why you see so much objection from SOFTWARE ENGINEERS!!