JPEG Patent's Single Claim Rejected (And Smacked Down For Good Measure)

from the a-good-first-step dept

We've been covering the ongoing saga of an old patent we've referred to as the "JPEG Patent." This actually isn't the first patent we've called the JPEG Patent, because multiple people claimed to hold patents over the technology that goes into a JPEG image. But, this one was rather special. The patent had been used, repeatedly, by lawyer Ray Niro, against a wide range of opponents, including a patent system critic. The end result was a drawn out review process where all of the original claims were rejected, but a single new claim was added to the patent, which Niro insisted covered JPEGs on a website.

Earlier this year, the Patent Office agreed to re-examine that claim. On top of that, a judge overseeing one of the lawsuits involving the patent decided to put the suit on hold pending the outcome of the re-exam. Of course, the re-exam will take some time, but the initial re-exam came out recently and it does not look good for this patent:
The one remaining claim was rejected on 19 different grounds, and then the examiner went on for over 40 pages, explaining in great detail, why the claim (and, thus, the entire patent) were not valid. Kinda makes you wonder why it was approved in the first place, but that's a different discussion for a different day. This is, of course, just the initial re-exam. Niro gets to respond, but given the amount of detail that goes into rejecting a single claim, he's got quite an uphill battle.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Nick Stamoulis, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 3:18pm

    Ah interesting patent to fight over... 40 pages of rejection? Seems a bit lengthy!

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Juan, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 3:34pm

    It's interesting that one of the grounds for rejection was based on the way the CompuServe on-line service allowed users to download GIF files back in 1989. Brings back a lot of memories...

    As someone who reads a lot of Office Actions, I've never seen a patent examiner spend so many pages trashing a single claim. It could be that the Patent Office assigned its "A-Team" to this patent given its storied history and the high profile treatment it receives from this blog and others.

     

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  3.  
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    Sticky Tape Guru, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 4:02pm

    Oh....nothing much!

    I hear they don't allow JPEGs into branded communities.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Oh....nothing much!

    enough with the branded communities

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Darksurf, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 5:00pm

    God, How retarded!

    Can I please patent canvas? How about paper, can I patent that? No? Then why the hell can people patent the jpeg?!
    Its used everywhere and just as much as college ruled paper!

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Oh....nothing much!

    Classic

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    KD, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 8:55pm

    What's with the nonstandard format?

    Hey, what's with the unusual format in which the ruling is presented? Wasn't an ordinary HTML or PDF format available?

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 9:34pm

    Re: Re: Oh....nothing much!

    no.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Your Gawd and Master, Aug 2nd, 2008 @ 6:47am

    Re: Oh....nothing much!

    do you mean the goatse branded communities? or the pedophile branded communities? or maybe the branded community gay sex scandal? or the branded community kills retarded kid with a broken lawn chair? hot bdsm branded community?

     

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  10.  
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    oregonnerd, Aug 2nd, 2008 @ 7:17am

    proofreading/sorry mike

    "...while the claim (and, thus, the entire patent) were not valid."
    [that "while" should be a "why"]
    --Glenn

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    IPesq, Aug 2nd, 2008 @ 10:18am

    Re: God, How retarded!

    I would imagine that at some point, somebody did or could have patented the composition of paper or the method of making paper. While the JPEG seems old, it only came out towards the end of the 80s. The compression standard came out in 92 or so, but these things are patentable. Now the question is, is the patent in question novel and non-obvious in light of what was out BEFORE the application was filed. That is what is being determined.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    So What, Aug 2nd, 2008 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: God, How retarded!

    The Patent Office document attached to Mike's article specifically cited an article published in 1990, more than a year before that patent was filed, discussing downloading of JPEG images from a remote server. I don't see how the patent holder can claim that anything in this patent was new.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Aug 3rd, 2008 @ 2:11pm

    JPEG; Joint Photographic Experts Group

    It was developed by a consortium at first used
    mainly for transmission of photos from space
    craft.

    I suppose one of the members could have pulled
    a rambus and gone after a patent but there was
    more integrity in the JPEG group.

    They started work about 1987 and the first draft
    was released around 1990. Digital Equipment Corp.
    was one of the consortium members.

    At least that's how I remember it.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Dr Chris, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 4:21pm

    Retroactive Innovation

    This must be some sort of corollary of the Twins Paradox in Special Relativity; one of them is definitely Evil.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    دردشه, Jul 11th, 2009 @ 9:19am

    This must be some sort of corollary of the Twins Paradox in Special Relativity

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Gary Delaney, Nov 19th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    JPEG viability

    Apparently, your mission is at a standstill, and will be going by the wayside, unless a power shift is injected. I have a plan, that would involve a law suit to make those in opposition run for cover. Please respond in getting this viable opportunity retro-fitted.

     

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


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