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Yahoo Settles With Forgent in JPEG Case

     
9:15 pm on Dec 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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[betanews.com...]

Scheduling software maker turned patent enforcer Forgent has announced an agreement with Yahoo in which the search engine will license the technology behind JPEG image compression. In exchange, Yahoo will be removed from litigation against companies Forgent claims are infringing on what it calls the '672 Patent.
10:31 pm on Dec 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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it would be interesting if PUBPAT actually does have prior art that would get Forgent's patent revoked.

They would quickly lose that 105 mil they have already gotten. Escpecially since they sued the biggest companies around. Those companies all have their huge patent books I am sure they could flip through and find an infringement for Forgent.

12:29 am on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Some background:

Microsoft licenses JPEG image-compression software from Xing

Business Wire

June 4, 1991

REDMOND, Wash. -- Microsoft Tuesday announced that it has licensed JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) compliant image-compression/decompression software from Xing Technology Corp. for use in future Microsoft applications, languages and systems software products...

[edited by: rogerd at 4:08 am (utc) on Dec. 16, 2005]
[edit reason] Copyrighted content removed [/edit]

3:34 am on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Here's the abstract of the '672 patent...


United States Patent 4,698,672

Chen , et al. October 6, 1987

Coding system for reducing redundancy

Abstract
The present invention relates to methods and apparatus for processing signals to remove redundant information thereby making the signals more suitable for transfer through a limited-bandwidth medium. The present invention specifically relates to methods and apparatus useful in video compression systems. Typically, the system determines differences between the current input signals and the previous input signals using mean-square difference signals. These mean-square signals are processed and compared with one or more thresholds for determining one of several modes of operation. After processing in some mode, the processed signals are in the form of digital numbers and these digital numbers are coded, using ordered redundancy coding, and transmitted to a receiver.

Personally, I am sick of "technology patents" that rehash prior art and add a little twist.

These guys didn't invent JPEG, and the certainly didn't invent data compression, video compression, or think up the idea of squeezing white space out from between pixels.

I'd like to see 90% of the tech patents revoked. They do not serve the purpose of the Founding Father's idea about intellectual property when they wrote...

"To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries"

- THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, Article. I., Section. 8., (Clause 8)

...as I have mentioned on other patent related threads.

Invent something to replace oil, or bullets, or bread, or something useful and I'd say they should give the inventor a 100 year patent.

2 + 2 = x
(2 + 6) + (2 + 6) = x - (6 + 6)

I want to patent a formula where you add "6" to both sides of every equation, then subtract "6" from the final answer... then I want to sue anyone who uses the number "6" in any form of math. (arghhh!)

10:44 am on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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When they're patenting our DNA my guess is that nothing will stop them patenting the air we breathe...
12:35 am on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Founding Fathers

Non-American's patent too.

7:05 am on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Non-American's patent too.

- tenerifejim

Why do you say that?


Inventors:
Chen; Wen-hsiung (Sunnyvale, CA);
Klenke; Daniel J. (Milpitas, CA)

Assignee:
Compression Labs, Inc. (San Jose, CA)

Interesting: the oldest referenced patent on the '672 ---- #4,302,775 - Widergren , et al. November 24, 1981), names a U.S. inventor and also lists Compression Labs as the assignee.

The fun part is tracing it all back through references and finding things like;

3,984,626 Picture signal coder - Mounts, et al. October 5, 1976, Inventors: Mounts; Frank William (Colts Neck, NJ); Netravali; Arun Narayan (Matawan, NJ); Prasada; Birendra (Matawan, NJ). Assignee: Bell Telephone Laboratories, Incorporated (Murray Hill, NJ)
Filed: August 1, 1975.

And it's oldest referenced patent #2,724,740 - November 22, 1955 - Quantified Transmission with Variable Quanta... (if you bother reading back through these, it's kind of neat that C.C. Cutler and his attorney hand signed this, now 50 year old patent)...

Patent Info from:
[uspto.gov...]

But lets get back to the subject of patent trolls... which is easy since Forgent kindly publishes their litigation info!

[forgentnetworks.com...]

(Note: Compression Labs, Inc is a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Forgent Networks).

Then lets get back to this being about JPEG licensing.

The '672 is for a proprietary encoding implementation of JPEG / JFIF. I can remember the early days when graphics tools would ask you to pick an encoding method when you did a JPEG save or render, (so now you know why I ramble)...

"...the file format was created originally by Eric Hamilton, the then convenor of JPEG as part of his work at C-Cube Microsystems, and was placed by them into the public domain under the name JFIF..."

- [jpeg.org...]

More fun reading:
[w3.org...]