|In reply to Comment 7 (Amon_Re):|
Nothing to do with my employer.
Patents, despite claims to the contrary by hippies, are claims to novel
inventions. If you invent a new way of doing something, and wish to secure
your right to profit from it (which is every inventor's right) then the
procedure is to patent it.
I don't think there is a valid distinction between a vacuum cleaner or a new
way of cleaning up viruses from your hard drive.
The patent does not cover the application presented by ATI's Media Center,
since ATI do not present continuous video content which has an embedded EPG -
instead you subscribe to a website, which streams the guide SEPERATELY, on
request for the current programme guide and you assign programme guides to
channels fairly MANUALLY if the TV channel name doesn't match with the expected (for instance if the signal is too weak to decode the channel name
from the broadcast signal..).
The patents seems restricted enough in it's definition to apply to content
such as DVB streams (MPEG 2 transport..) where the EPG is defined by the
components of the stream (for instance, MHP).
This patent basically allows integration and cooperation of EPG (as streamed
by the cable provider with the channel data) with hyperlinks that connect to
detailed or themed websites. Clicking links in the (non-internet-based) EPG
(which is NOT an HTML document by ANY standard!) would open a browser and load
them up as directed. Therefore an embedded programme guide interface requests
that a browser open internet-based URLs.
You should read the patent. Most of these "Slashdot Stories" are complete
bullshit with conclusions jumped to by a cursory look at the basic patent
abstract, and NOT the claims or description. If you actually read the
description, and the 86 or so points listed, you will see it references all
previous prior art as background, and the application of the patent is only
granted if it's significantly DIFFERENT or ADDITIONAL to those references.