Will Infamous JPEG Patent Get A Re-Exam?

from the about-time dept

We’ve already talked about how Ray Niro, a well-known patent attorney, has been filing lawsuits over a patent he claims covers any website with a JPEG image. He’s been known to particularly target his critics. It appears that all of the attention this patent has generated, has resulted in at least one party filing with the Patent Office to request a re-exam of the patent. While the patent has already gone through a re-exam in the past, and only this one claim survived, it would be nice to get it completely rejected.

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Comments on “Will Infamous JPEG Patent Get A Re-Exam?”

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Iron Chef says:

Rambling about lean systems

I’m not so sure that a simple re-exam this is the right answer. The issues with the USPTO run much further as shared by Mike in a previous post.

Too many things changed recently. Less than five years ago, companies had the idea of “You need to replace your product before someone else does” and the idea of patenting processes was something of an afterthought. This was why we had new OSs released every few years, why companies decided to “Take a Swing” and try new concepts in their stores.

So until recently, 7-11 used to have frozen coffee machines in many of their stores. Today, I miss the convenience of getting a faux frappuchino from 7-11 when I wanted one. I don’t know the details, but maybe someone in legal got involved and as a result, 7-11 stopped selling frozen coffee drinks.

What happened last summer explains a few things- Starbucks announced weaker earnings due to “increased demand for frozen drinks”.

In short, the market was artifically restrained under the auspice of copyright/patent law, and the business failed to accominidate future demand.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Starbucks. I even started planning on leaving for work 20 minutes early to get through the drive-thru line. But these efforts for getting a cup of Joe became especially apparent when I was stuck in a drive-thru line and had to pull out the laptop and lookup conference call information for a meeting with D-levels while I was stuck in a line for coffee.

So I learned from this negative experience and decided to start making my own.

Today this idea of constraint seems to be the exception, rather than the practice. When will lean, customer-driven systems become the answer rather than the exception? A lot can be learned from the Toyota Production System.

tonyjones17 says:

There’s no reason to use JPEG images anymore. Use a GIF if you want a tiny filesize and low resolution, use a PNG if you want a quality pic with a very reasonable filesize. No patent fuss there. What good is a patent on an outdated image codec, anyway?

The only reason I still use JPEG is that it’s basically the MP3 of the low-end digital camera industry. My cell-phone and my cheap Samsung camera give me no other option, but I’m more than happy to convert afterwards, since all my viewing devices fully support PNG and many other types.

Ideally, we should just drop JPEG entirely, and let it and it’s stupid patent fade into bitter nostalgia.

Iron Chef says:


I’d like to retract parts of my last message, as I could have been to lazy to go to 7-11 after I read some statement that Starbucks was suing 7-11, knowing how these lawsuits end up…

Anyways, licensing is the key, especially when a market has been identified.

I can’t find the article, so I feel very redfaced, and will go to the Starbucks HQ on Monday and give an apology.

I still love Starbucks. Sorry Howard Schultz!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Ooops!

I smell a cover up. Who was it again that had a patent on suing someone for defamation?

Seriously though, and I know this is a lot to ask for, but I’d LOVE for copyright and patent laws to roll back and re-asses the changes that need to be made for digital goods. It seems to me that things were changed arbitrarily or selfishly without proper research.

Iron Chef says:

Re: Re: Ooops!

Not so sure. But considering that the TSA has a blog, I’m sure they could find ’em and sue them. But they have a little fun in the process, and use the feedback to better the process.

From the Page: “Throughout the ages, there have been many unanswered questions that continue to baffle the human race. Who built Stonehenge? Is there life on other planets? Why does the TSA make me place my liquids in a clear sealable baggie?”


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