Prior Art

So apparently Rupert Murdoch thinks he owns the idea of an Electronic Programme Guide that uses a grid layout, as he bought a company with a patent from the year 1999 to that effect. And for the last decade this company has been extracting fealty hither and yon, in the form of license agreements to anyone who wants to put up a service to tell people what’s on telly, and suing them if they demur. And now Freeview Australia seems to be having some trouble securing a license.

It looks like this is the Gemstar patent.

The reason I write is that I was working for Optus Multimedia, a division of Optus Vision back in 1998, and in that year I made an EPG in a grid layout, for delivery on the web (including a WebTV version).

So without further ado, here is some prior art for EPGs with a grid layout, from May 1998.

 Note: grid layout, customise button for changing order of channels, and tiny WebTV-compatible resolution

Note: grid layout, customise button for changing order of channels, and tiny WebTV-compatible resolution

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