The Aftermath Of RIM-NTP: Other Patent Hoarders Emboldened

from the story?--we-need-a-story? dept

Now that the RIM-NTP case is over and the lawyers are counting the loot from a bunch of patents that are very likely to be rejected, it appears that (1) plenty of other patent hoarding firms can't wait to step into the limelight as the "next NTP" and (2) reporters who have been covering this case need to move onto some new patent hoarding company. Well, step right up Forgent, you're the next contestant on "Just How Screwed Up Is Our Patent System?!" The AP has an article all about Forgent's attempts to be the next patent hoarding company to get all the attention. There's absolutely nothing new in this story. We've covered Forgent extensively in the past. The company has done nothing to help innovation in the imaging space. They had some patents collecting dust that they retroactively decided could cover jpg compression technology, and went on a licensing kick, scoring millions of dollars. Of course, now, people are finally digging up some prior art -- but either way it highlights the problem of the patent system. This company did nothing to promote innovation. It did everything to hinder it. And the comments from the company about how this is "the American way" are ridiculous. Holding back others from innovating and improving the market is the American way? Unfortunately, this is the legacy of the RIM-NTP decision. More companies feel emboldened to not innovate, but simply patent and wait for others to innovate.

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  1. identicon
    Joe Smith, 17 Mar 2006 @ 4:08pm

    Whose fault?

    The real culprit in all of this is the Court of Appeal which has encouraged these shakedowns by creating a doctrine of rubber stamp injunctions over the last twenty years. The Federal Court must have intended this consequence since, as the courts are fond of saying, men are presumed to intend the natural consequences of their own acts. We can hope that the Supreme Court will take the opportunity to rap the Court of Appeal's knuckles in the eBay v. MercExhange case.

    The Forgent patent talks about video compression done by eliminating redundant information in the time dimension while jpeg is all about eliminating redundant information in still images in the spatial dimensions.

    Hard to see how Forgent's "statistical" compression in time for videos could ever apply to the "deterministic" (fourier) compression in space of jpeg for still images.

    I guess Forgent is counting on no Defendant ever being able to explain the difference to a Federal Judge. Given the apparent low (non-existent?) level of technical sophistication of the Federal Bench that may be a pretty safe bet.

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