Group Finds Prior Art On JPEG Patent; Hopefully Not Compressed As A JPEG

from the all-your-jpgs-are-belong-to-us dept

A few years ago, a small company, Forgent, that owned a patent they never did anything with, suddenly decided that the patent covered the technology used in jpg compression, used across the internet for images. Instead of recognizing that the actual innovation came about having absolutely nothing to do with that patent, the company did what so many patent trolls do: they decided to sue everyone and complain about how much they were owed for doing nothing that had anything to do with the success of a technology. Companies have been fighting Forgent, but now a group claims they've come up with some prior art that could invalidate the patent. Of course, the process is quite involved and difficult, so it's a bit early to say if this will have any impact. The best guess is that it won't and the patent office will turn them down on a review. Either way, though, it doesn't get to the core issue, of why this company that did absolutely nothing to make .jpg a useful compression format (and, didn't even realize they had such a patent for a long time) deserves any money for doing absolutely nothing other than making it difficult for others to actually use the technology.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    dude, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 10:39am

    Get a real job !

    What can be said about PubPat's Executive Director Dan Ravicher ? Get a real job, man, and stop
    bitching about US patent system !
    He appeared to find *another* Forgent patent as an *invalidating prior art* ! How interesting!
    It takes about 3 minutes spent on www.uspto.gov to find all Forgent patents.
    Why did it take them so long ? The patent in question will expire next year.
    Is this just a silly joke or this guy is a glory hog ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 10:51am

    Re: Get a real job !

    and do you have anything useful to add or are you just a troll.. these are the questions that plague our universe

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    dude, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 11:05am

    Re: Get a real job !

    Yeah, I am just a troll, if it makes you happy...
    For starters, I can suggest to go to www.uspto.gov/patft , "quick search" and
    type "Compression Labs, Inc." in the assignee field.
    All 12 Forgent patents come up immediately.
    Patents 4,698,672 (in question) and 4,541,012 (submited as "prior art") are listed next to each
    other...
    To me this whole re-examination thing looks ridiculous.
    After 100 million $ or so Forgent managed to obtain
    from Sony and other large companies over the
    course of several years ?
    And nobody at those companies even looked at other
    Forgent patents ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Michael "TheZorch" Haney, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 11:08am

    New Solution Needed

    We may need a new solution for image file formats.

    A good one should be built using Open Source Code. Files sizes would have to be small for photo-quality images, and the file format should be able to support animation like .gif files do now. An all in one file format to please everyone and its free for anyone to impliment.

    I'm no programmer, I'm trying to give the code-master here something to think about.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    MissingFrame, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 11:35am

    Re: New Solution Needed

    If only we could switch everyone to a better and free solution overnight, we'd all be running Linux, Firefox, Ogg Vorbis, and filling our cars up with biodiesel.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    solak, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 11:49am

    New Solution is Available

    Ever heard of PNG format?
    http://www.w3.org/Graphics/PNG/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 11:52am

    Re: New Solution Needed

    Use PNG - vector based and good

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    moorecats, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 11:53am

    Re: New Solution is Available

    yea, PNG has been around for a long time. It is vector based...none of this patent nonsense. It is good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Michael "TheZorch" Haney, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 11:57am

    Re: New Solution is Available

    My web design program Web Dwarf supports PNG and can even convert .JPG files to .PNG before it publishes your site online. Does PNG support animation like .gif? I'll follow the link the earlier comment to read more about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 1:22pm

    Re: New Solution is Available

    Nope. PNG doesn't deal with animation, but excels on the transparent background department. It's an amazing format for flash importation of bitmaps. It works very much like gif format.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 1:38pm

    Re: New Solution Needed

    biodiesel? No thanks, I like the fast lane.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Andrew Strasser, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 6:28pm

    Re: New Solution is Available

    A great company for good compression software is Makaha.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Matthew Rings, Mar 18th, 2006 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: New Solution Needed

    I'll take the Audi R10 diesel race car to the fast lane!

    http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/14/Autos/funonwheels/audi_diesel_racer/index.htm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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