23rd nov, 2009

Sometimes patents are embarrassing

On the EFF website I read a story about the organization fighting a new patent on podcasting. The company Volomedia has been granted a US patent on “Method for Providing Episodic Media Content”. In the abstract it says “personalized media service provides, e.g., user customization of radio channel selections, immediate availability of multiple preprogrammed and/or customized channels, the ability to intersperse different types of content including periodically refreshed information content, availability of personal radio functions on devices such as car audio systems, PDAs, smartphones, MP3 players, etc. “ 

To my surprise there was only 6 claims: 

1. A method for providing episodic media, the method comprising:
providing a user with a dedicated episodic media channel;
receiving a subscription request to the dedicated episodic media channel from the user;
automatically downloading updated episodic media associated with the dedicated episodic media channel to a computing device associated with the user in accordance with the subscription request.
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising automatically providing the user with an indication of the availability of updated episodic media via the dedicated episodic media channel in accordance with the subscription request.
3. The method of claim 1, further comprising synchronizing the updated episodic media automatically downloaded to the computing device associated with the user with a portable computing device communicatively coupled to the computing device associated with the user.
4. The method of claim 3, wherein synchronization of the updated episodic media automatically occurs in response to a predetermined user setting.
5. The method of claim 3, wherein synchronization of the updated episodic media occurs in response to a request received from the user.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the updated episodic media is made available to users not associated with the computing device over a local area network.   

 

And yes it´s embarrassing that the patent got granted and I wish EFF best of luck in busting the patent. If you know of any prior art please contribute here 

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And before you ask: Yes there is a European application, which has been pending since 2004 and not yet decided.

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