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.