Patent Office Agrees To Review Infamous JPEG Patent
from the well,-that's-good dept
Last month, we noted that there was some effort being made to get the Patent Office to do a re-exam of a patent that attorney Ray Niro had been using to go after any site that had a JPEG image. While the patent itself had been re-examed before, one claim had been left intact, which Niro has said covers anyone using JPEG compression. It appears that the effort to get the USPTO to look into the patent once again has succeeded, though it’s a long and rather involved process that won’t come to fruition for quite a long time. The request includes a long list of prior art on that one particular claim, which the Patent Office admits it did not look at earlier and that raise substantial questions about the patentability of the remaining claim in the patent. This is rather good news.
On a side note, we first came across the story of this patent thanks to the then-anonymous Patent Troll Tracker blog. A few weeks back, the author of that blog revealed himself (after being told anonymously that the news was about to leak in an unflattering manner) as a lawyer working on IP issues at Cisco. It’s too bad that he felt the need to reveal himself, but it’s even worse that he has since taken down the blog entirely. It had a lot of excellent background information, which is all gone now, and the lack of updates is a real loss. It was the only source that was providing insight into some of the shadier activities of certain patent holders and patent attorneys. It’s a world that needed more light shined upon, not less. It’s a true shame that it’s been lost to the world, much to the detriment of those trying to show how the patent system is being regularly abused.