Owner Of Infamous JPEG Patent Tries To Line Jump The Re-Exam Process

from the shot-down-by-the-uspto dept

You may recall the infamous "JPEG patent" we've talked about recently. It's the one that patent attorney Ray Niro, about whom the phrase "patent troll" was initially coined, has used to sue all sorts of critics or companies he doesn't appear to like. The history of the patent in question is incredibly questionable. It went through a seven year re-exam once before, where all the claims were rejected. However, a single new claim was allowed instead, which is the basis of all of these lawsuits. Back in March, however, the Patent Office agreed to re-examine that one claim, noting that the earlier re-exam didn't count, because this claim was new and was merely "examined" rather than "re-examined."

With that re-exam going on, a judge put the cases involving that patent on hold until the re-exam was complete. So what did the patent holder do? It tried to convince the Patent Office to allow it to completely jump the line, passing a bunch of other patents that were being re-examined. Luckily, the USPTO turned down the request, noting that the circumstances involving this patent don't seem all that different than the circumstances facing many of the patents it's reviewing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    LTDLP, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 5:46pm

    Nobody thought of that before

    Put a picture in a website.
    Yeah, there is a novel idea that deserves a patent.
    I wonder, does ray fiddle ?

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 6:26pm

    I want to patent making a stupid poorly formated comment on a website. I'll make billions in the first month alone in lawsuits.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    C.L. Gary, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Anonymous Coward (truly named)

    "I want to patent making a stupid poorly formated comment on a website."

    Well... your comment surely is stupid, but I doubt you can patent it.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    inc, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 7:09pm

    switch to PNG now

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Nobody thought of that before

    Umm... you know that time before the internet...yeah...

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Guy with Headache, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 8:38pm

    *pounds head ageist wall repeatedly*
    *gets an idea and stops*
    I should patent the first line!

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Chunky Vomit, Jul 9th, 2008 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Nobody thought of that before

    JPEG compression for images has been around for a very long time. Much longer than people have been putting images on websites.....

    For that matter, longer than many of us have had access to the internet.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    LTDLP, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Nobody thought of that before

    As I recall, the patent in question addressesed (in part) putting a JPEG image on a website.
    Is this incorrect ?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 7:05am

    idiot punks

    Hey punks

    Just shut up already

    You don't know squat about patents so your lemming opinion doesn't matter

    Learn to read patent claims first

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 8:32am

    Re: idiot punks

    You don't know squat about patents so your lemming opinion doesn't matter

    Unfortunately, since you have so far refused to provide any actual details as to your patent expertise and typically resort to simple "no, you're wrong" arguments instead of actually defending your position, your professed knowledge of patents is highly suspect as well. In any case, receiving a patent hardly makes you an expert on patents or patent law.

    Learn to read patent claims first

    Are you referring to the original claims, which were all rejected, or the single additional claim that they managed to tack on out of the 92 they applied for in a desperate attempt to keep this patent alive for lawsuits?

    Since angry dude is so insistent that nobody ever reads the claims, here's the last and only claim left on this patent:

    A method for downloading responsive data from a remote server comprising the following steps:
    (a) identifying a query via a data input means and inputting said query to remote query and data retrieval means;
    (b) transmitting said query from said remote query and data retrieval means to said remote server via an input/output means;
    (c) receiving a compressed or non-compressed response to said query at said remote query and data retrieval means from said remote server via said input/output means;
    (d) displaying a presentation corresponding to said compressed or non-compressed response on output means;
    (e) wherein said compressed or non-compressed response is compressed prior to receipt at said remote query and data retrieval means, and wherein said compressed response is decompressed at said remote query and data retrieval means using an asymmetric decompression technique corresponding to an inverse operation of the technique used to compress said compressed or non-compressed response.


    In other words, the claim tries to cover the incredibly basic and obvious process of request -> reply -> display. Perhaps, being the "expert" that he is, angry dude can provide some type of defense for this claim?

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 9:02am

    Where is JPEG ?????

    And why do you lemmings keep calling this patent a "JPEG patent" ???
    Do you know what JPEG stands for ?

    I gues you don't

    Get a clue first, punks

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 9:14am

    Re: Where is JPEG ?????

    And why do you lemmings keep calling this patent a "JPEG patent" ???

    Because Ray Niro initially limited his accusations of infringement against sites that specifically used JPEGs. While it is an inaccurate description of the patent since it can apply to any compressed image format, it is commonly referred to as the JPEG patent. Therefore, calling it the JPEG patent provides easier identification than calling it patent 5,253,341.

    Care to raise any more pointless objections to cover the fact that you don't have any real defense to provide for this patent?

    By the way, what exactly does knowing what JPEG stands for have to do with anything?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 9:44am

    Re: Where is JPEG ?????

    JPEG = Joint Photographic Experts Group, the committee that created the JPEG standard. Was Ray Niro a member?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Willton, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 10:56am

    Reexam will kill the patent term

    A second reexam for this patent is probably the worst thing to happen to it, and not because the claims are bad, but because reexam takes FOREVER! The average pendency of an ex parte reexam is close to 3 years. Assuming it will take 3 years to complete the reexam of this claim, the patent will have less than a year before it expires. If I were Niro, I might just abandon the sucker and move on to a new venture.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 11:49am

    Re: Reexam will kill the patent term

    Of course, if this patent had never been granted in the first place, there wouldn't be any need for a re-exam.

    A second reexam for this patent is probably the worst thing to happen to it, and not because the claims are bad

    It's the first re-exam on the claim that was added after all the original claims were rejected. And since the claim is bad, not only will the re-exam period stop Global Patent Holdings from filing more lawsuits, it also deprives them of the ability to file more claims on the patent when this last remaining claim is rejected.

    So, while the length of the re-examination process may be problematic in many instances, in this case it is no less than this patent deserves.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Franssu, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 11:53am

    The good things with patent trolls

    Is that with their constant abuse of the system, they will more quickly than us achieve the destruction of the very idea of intellectual property.
    That way, we'll all be able to do business as it always have been, that is, compete with other people by trying to be better in the execution of the service and delivering better products. Too bad it will put some lawyers and angry dudes out of business, but they will be the makers of their downfall.

     

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  17.  
    icon
    Nick (profile), Jul 10th, 2008 @ 7:00pm

    Patent examiner to Niro: Look here, troll, you have to go to the back of the line along with all of the other trolls, damn, troll.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 8:08pm

    but...but...

    ...their will always be work for angry dude!!!

    Like...like...calling people thieves who share files and, umm...that sort of thing.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Jul 10th, 2008 @ 8:56pm

    Re: but...but...

    Impostors be damned !!!

    Folks like you who share files are not thiefs, they are just punks

    Thiefs are corporate CEOs who steal other people's inventions to make billions for themselves

    See the difference punk ?

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    stv, Jul 11th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    stop the shilling!!!

    Just more shilling from ol’ Mike. The only patents he likes are his own...or his puppeteers. Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your patent and we’re not going to pay. When corporate America agrees to not use our inventions without consent, American inventors and small entities will agree to stop suing them.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jul 11th, 2008 @ 10:09am

    Just more shilling from ol’ Mike.

    Except that it isn't shilling. It's a description of a patent holder trying to jump to the front of the line and being turned down.

    Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your patent and we’re not going to pay. When corporate America agrees to not use our inventions without consent, American inventors and small entities will agree to stop suing them.

    You must be the type that angry dude is talking about, because you obviously didn't read the claim on this patent. Newsflash: not all patents are valid.

    So, once again, the only shill here happens to be you.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Zboy, Aug 10th, 2008 @ 8:26am

    Problem is patent office

    My thoughts as a small inventor;

    The whole problem comes down to why was the patent issued. When a small inventor pays lawyers, he usually does it with his life savings or money out of his families earnings which on an average is tens of thousands of dollars to get a patent, he is asking for protection of his idea. He then gets a patent that he was told by the US patent office his idea is protected.

    Then he finds out that the patent office can say of we should not have gave you this patent we should have done a better job but we didnt so you no longer have a patent. The patent office should give him his money back and fees he had to pay for them to say he should not have gotten a patent its invalid.
    Isnt only fair the inventor should have some type of recourse? I believe the exparte should have some exposure, maybe pay all his legal expenses and all of his cost on having the patent put into ex-parte re-exam to prove invalidity. Or maybe when his patent is proven invalid the inventor should have some recourse up to the day it was proven invalid by the patent office? I bet you would see the patent office speed things up because of the pressure from the exparte who put the patent in re-exam because the more time that goes by while in re-exam the more the clock ticks on damages.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    ZBoy Be Wrong, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Problem is patent office

    The "problem" you're describing isn't the Patent Office, Zboy. The modest fees you pay to the Patent Office are simply designed to partially defray the costs of processing the application and having it examined by a patent examiner. During that examination process, the Patent Office does perform a search for prior art, and they usually do the best job they can. But given the time constraints on the examiners, you're lucky if an examiner can devote three hours to a prior art search. That's simply not enough time to perform a detailed search, especially in a crowded field such as the one where the JPEG-on-a-website patent resides, and when the inventor tosses dozens of different proposed claims at the examiner that implicate many different areas of prior art. The result is a relatively half-ass prior art search producing patents of dubious validity.

    Your assumption that the Patent Office "owes" something to an inventor who is granted a patent later determined to be invalid is hopelessly misguided. The Patent Office's decision to ultimately grant a patent has never been understood to guarantee anything. All it means if that you have something that made it through a fairly cursory review process by underpaid and overworked civil servants.

    The real fault lies with the inventor. The patent rules that say the inventor is NOT required to search for prior art before filing a patent application, only to reveal prior art they already know about. Most inventors don't bother to do any due diligence before filing, even though the inventor is in a far superior position than the Patent Office to determine if its application covers something novel. The inventor should make the investment on the front-end to make sure that it has something valuable before plunking money down on lawyers and filing fees. If the inventor fails to do that -- and certainly that must have been the case for the JPEG-on-a-website patent (heck, 1980s CompuServe was cited as prior art!) -- it has no one but itself to blame when someone comes around later and dunks the patent into reexamination based on easy-to-find and universally known prior art.

     

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


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