One of the features of the US tech landscape is the lesser spotted patent troll which is doing its best as a breed to kill off any new ideas coming into the former British colony of Virginia.
Evolutionists have already noted that the US patent troll has destroyed the eco-system of many thriving companies and in the long term is likely to bring down Open Sauce and Android.
Needless to say it would be a very brave company which bought any technology into the United States as it would be swiftly attacked by the species.
Sure enough, when the UK’s Spotify launched to great acclaim this month a patent troll was waiting to get a slice of the action.
According to TechDirt, PacketVideo was a startup which was tried to sell streaming video on mobile phones. It was something that was ahead of its time and thus consigned to the dustbin of history.
PacketVideo’s problem was that it could not get enough bandwidth to do it and getting any sort of licensing from the music labels was nearly impossible.
It seems that PacketVideo claims that patent 5,636,276, is for a “Device for the distribution of music information in digital form” covers Spotify and the outfit should pay it large sums of money to go away.
PacketVideo’s claim is to own a central memory device which is connected to a communications network and has a databank of digitised music information and, a terminal which is connected to the central memory device via the communications network.
However when the patent was filed in 1995, this was not new. If you asked a network engineer how you would build a digital music streaming service they would all have said the same thing.
What makes matters worse is that it was not invented by PacketVideo, the outfit just bought it.
To be honest, we think any backward third world nation that encourages a patent system like this should suffer from a technology embargo from the civilised world. It seems that Spotify wants to sell its products to those who lack opposable thumbs, so it will have to contest the patent.