Scott Spinucci might. He owns SpinDVD, a New York company that makes DVD's with games, films, and advertising in them. Dennis Crouch points today to an April article in which a Pennsylvania newspaper describes Spinucci pushing his way through a crowd to ask Hillary Clinton if she'll take his side in resisting patent reform.
"Will the candidates side with big business or the little guy?" Spinucci asks. "It's as simple as that."
But a quick check of patent records shows another side to Spinucci's defense of the little guy. He has a specious and broad business method patent application in the works. It describes his "invention"—simply, the idea of stopping a DVD to click and go to an advertiser's web site. The application is complete with a flow chart of ideas that could have been penned by an above-average 14-year-old who knows what product placement means (see right).
Spinucci's broad application seems like nothing more than a description of the direction the entertainment business is clearly headed in: connecting viewers more directly with advertisers. Extending an incredibly generous benefit of the doubt, maybe Spinucci was the first guy on the planet to think of letting DVD viewers stop their DVD and use the Internet—but should his reward be a 20-year "ownership" of that idea, with a patent to block any competitor who dares do the same thing?
One can imagine the list of companies Spinucci might sue with such a patent. It might look a lot like the list of companies he works with now: Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Sony/BMG, NBC Universal, and others, according to his website. Do these media giants know they're working with somebody who's building such a legal weapon?
Spinucci also made a YouTube video asking presidential candidates to oppose take a position on patent reform. He doesn't, of course, mention his own patent application.
UPDATE: Spinucci responded to this post and objects to my take on this. His comment and my response to it can be found in the comments section.