It seems that the patent trolls are not going away despite some concerted political action to shove them back under their bridges.
The latest daft orchestral manoeuvre in the dark comes from an outfit called Red Pine Point which is suing Apple, Amazon and Mark Cuban's Magnolia Pictures for distributing movies over mobile networks to mobile phones.
But Mark Cuban points out that the patent is specific and illogical. He said that if Magnolia, which distributes movies decides to make movies available for download via cellular to mobile devices, it has not violated the patent. But if they then decide to show that flick in a theatre it has violated the patent. Huh?
Writing in his bog , Cuban said that in the movie business you have to own the rights to the movie before you can decide its distribution strategy. It is also difficult to sell a movie before its theatrical release simply because none of the big theatre chains will release a movie that has already been released on other platforms. Only some independent theatres that will do it and it these that the troll is going for.
Basically if a film is put onto VOD, PPV or on Amazon or ITunes and see "Before it's in theatres" movies for sale or rent or PPV the patent troll thinks that is his idea.
"This patent is not protecting a business the Troll came up with. It is not protecting an invention they created. They were not operating in this business in any way shape that I can find," Cuban moaned.
Cuban said that Red Pine Point took the obvious idea that if movies can be downloaded and released via the internet, the same thing will happen via mobile data.
Cuban said in his blog that they probably noticed what his company was doing back in 2004 and decided to try to patent it. What is fairly dumb is that they got the patent.
However they appear to have picked the wrong person. Cuban hates patent trolls so much that he created the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents.