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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.
The fact that you can be sued does not mean the person suing you is right or would win.
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.
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.
The only legitimate targets can be software manufacturers for image creation tools on one side, and for browsers displaying those images on the other.
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>