StrongGlad writes "Is the concept of renting movies over the Internet an original idea that deserves patent protection? Netflix claims it is, and is suing Blockbuster for patent infringement, alleging they are copying its seven-year-old online movie-rental business method. Netflix argues that it has patents covering its many online features, including allowing subscribers to keep DVDs for as long as they want without incurring a late fee, obtaining new DVDs upon return of those already watched, and prioritizing their own personal movie list. Blockbuster, for its part, has counterclaimed, insisting that Netflix is trying to monopolize the online movie-rental industry and stifle competition. Blockbuster also alleges that Netflix obtained its patents fraudulently by failing to disclose pertinent information to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and further contends there is nothing original about renting videos online in the first place."
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