Questions On Encryption Technology Patent Rights for Kindle

Reuters reports: Media company Discovery Communications Inc has sued, accusing the online retailer's Kindle of infringing its patent on electronic book technology.

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Delaware, marks another blow for a closely watched gadget that has drawn fire from publishers that say Amazon is trying to avoid paying royalties.

The lawsuit claims that Amazon, in two versions of its Kindle, has infringed one or more of the claims on a patent that Discovery founder John Hendricks received in November 2007.

The patent deals with encryption technology for the distribution of digital books.


Patents have to be non-obvious. Non-obviousness. This provides that a patentable invention must not have been obvious to a "person having ordinary skill in the art" in view of the appropriate prior art. The Discovery patent says that to protect ebooks you should encode them. Duhh!!! Completely obvious. Patent office never should have issued a patent. Amazon attorneys will take this one apart is court.

When obviousness is brought up, I wonder how subjective such is in the whole process. What might be obvious to a librarian is likely not obvious to a layman. As I have no patents to my name, I'm more than likely missing something in the whole thing.

The whole case does seem a wee bit odd, though. I think I smell a rat?
Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
PGP KeyID: 899C131F

I´m using to encrypt my data. It is userfriendly and really fast.

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