Metrolyrics patent 9401941

Saturday afternoon, some tea and a track playing on Spotify caught my attention. I couldn’t understand the lyrics so I googled it (since spotify and musixmatch broke up so lyrics aren’t handy within the spotify desktop app anymore).

The first link on google takes me to a metrolyrics page for the song. I find this gem

As normal people do on a Saturday afternoon, I decide to read the patent and ignore my laundry. Some quick observations:

  1. Patent name: Song lyric processing with user interaction. Quite vague and all encompassing.
  2. It claims the invention of a method to provide to the client device the lyrics for display. All lyrics websites on the internet in some way.
  3. It claims the invention of methods to allow selecting a segment of the lyric and annotating them with meanings, interpretations, ‘mishearings’, sharing on social media. There goes Musixmatch and Rapgenius.
  4. It also claims the invention of methods to process these annotations so as to display the ‘right’ one to another user and extract valuable insights.
  5. Many complicated figures like this one.

The patent was granted in June 2016. Numerous lyrics websites have been doing these things for years now and arguably much better than Metrolyrics (for god’s sake remove the autoplaying advert atleast).

I wonder what is the point, whether it is a bullshit patent that exist for no good reason other than being a pretty statistic. I also wonder whether Metrolyrics or CBS interactive (their parent company) plan to enforce this and how this would come to pass. Are they going to be a patent troll ?

My understanding of patents and surrounding ecosystem is quite shallow, so I’d love if someone could explain how this sort of a thing benefits the patent holders.

Thanks for reading!