| 7:55 pm on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)|
|since the patent becomes invalid in 2004 (under the old rules, seventeen years after filing, rather than twenty years after a grant) there is little incentive for manufacturers to bow to Forgent's terms. |
| 8:04 pm on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)|
I was talking to someone the other day, and they said, "I wouldn't do it because I could be sued". I think too many people are concerned about being sued. You can be sued for anything. However, winning is a different thing. If this company brought a suit against my company, my response would be "so go ahead and sue." I suspect that would be the end of it.
The fact that you can be sued does not mean the person suing you is right or would win.
| 8:08 pm on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)|
They've banked 18million from Sony in royalties, and another 15 million from an "unnamed" Japanese digital camera (Canon?) company. Some corporate heavies think it's the real deal.
Patent 4,698,672 [patft.uspto.gov]
| 8:11 pm on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)|
Could it be that for a company like Sony, paying a one time fee of 18M$ is simply cheaper than being dragged into a legal battle, even if they might be certain to win after a few years of haggling?
| 8:11 pm on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)|
Richard - I don't think their strategy would be to sue me or you. Instead, it would be to sue browser makers for creating devices that allow users to bypass patent restrictions, ISPs for hosting sites which contain files created using a patented process, etc. One suit naming , say 50 plaintiffs could cover the browser/ISP market pretty effectively.
So you might just get a letter one day from your ISP saying "pull all of your JPEG files off of our server because we have been compelled to stop serving them to visitors."
I'm not saying this will happen; I just think it is the most likely strategy for Forgent to pursue.
| 8:15 pm on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)|
|Some corporate heavies think it's the real deal. |
I understand. We got threatened for something similar at my company. we recently installed point of sale hardware and software in our stores. It uses bar code readers. Turns out some guy a few years ago patented the idea, died and his heirs are now suing everyone in sight because they own the idea.
They asked us for a lot of money. Fortunately, our contract with our vendor said they would protect us from patent infringment. The vendor paid - it was in the millions.
| 3:15 pm on Jul 25, 2002 (gmt 0)|
I just think for that kind of money, they can afford to do some internal study of the situation before paying those kinds of fees.
| 2:41 pm on Jul 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
I'd like to see Forgent suing Microsoft and AOL.
| 2:53 pm on Jul 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
As with the LZW patent used in GIF files, the ISPs are clearly out of the line of fire here. The patent deals either with creating those images, or with decoding them for view. No ISP is involved in either process.
The only legitimate targets can be software manufacturers for image creation tools on one side, and for browsers displaying those images on the other.
| 3:29 pm on Jul 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
|I'd like to see Forgent suing Microsoft and AOL. |
ummm - it's not as though SONY and Canon are legal lightweights. And that $33 mil will pay a lot of legal fees.
<added> "Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $56.9 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002, and it employs 168,000 people worldwide."
That would make it about twice the size of Microsoft, BTW</added>