Forgent Sues Over JPEG Patent

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Alan Browne, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. It is not uncommon for patented technology to be standardized. For example,
    for ISO standards, the only requirement is that the parties proposing
    technology for standardization disclose any patent issues of which they are
    aware. It is then up to the standards committee to decide whether they want
    to accept the patent restrictions or seek an alternative technology for
    standardization. In the audio-coding field, competing companies will spend
    millions of dollars developing patented technologies, in the hope that their
    entry will be the one accepted for standardization and they can collect
    royalties.
     
    Andrew Koenig, Apr 28, 2004
    #21
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  2. Because he doesn't hold a patent and has never asserted his rights.
    Forgent does hold a valid, enforceable patent and has asserted its
    rights all along, as shown by ongoing negotiations over the years,
    which resulted in Sony, Microsoft and others agreeing to pay them.
    Forgent has collected close to $100 million this way. Only those who
    have not settled are being sued.
     
    Frank Ehrlich, Apr 30, 2004
    #22
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  3. Billy B, you are factually wrong, with all due respect.

    Forgent is the rightful holder of the patent; they bought the entire
    company.

    Why do you think Microsoft, Sony and others settled and are paying
    royalties? They have been in negotiations for almost SEVEN years; it
    was two years ago that they announced their intention to sue all the
    holdouts.

    The law is with them, and the facts are with them. Bill Gates and
    his lawyers are no wimps by any stretcth of the imagination.
     
    Frank Ehrlich, Apr 30, 2004
    #23
  4. You're not a litigant attorney, are you? Your view of the legal
    process is not grounded in reality.

    Just wait. The defendants will eventually pay and settle out of
    court. You'll see.
     
    Frank Ehrlich, Apr 30, 2004
    #24
  5. Alan Browne

    eawckyegcy Guest

    Are you just making this stuff up?

    http://www.technewsworld.com/perl/story/33518.html

    Forgent has only asserted its "rights" from 2002 July.

    Despite having purchased these "rights" in 1997.

    Also note that the patent is dated from 1987 -- JPEG stems from 1986.

    Can you say "prior art"?

    Also note that Forgent is not only asserting claims for JPEG, but for
    the _very notion of compressing an image in-camera_, or any other
    device for that matter.

    Can you say "submarine"? It's a classic case: wait for others to
    develop the value of the "invention" and then you step in to seize the
    proceeds.
    People happily agree to any number of things rather than submit to
    years of stupidity in court. They look at probability*cost and make
    an assessment. (Example: even if, as you assert, Billy G is no
    slouch, the fact still remains that MickeySoft has lost many patent
    and other "rights" infringement cases. Also note that MickeySoft is
    acting like Forgent, by making silly claims about some VFAT filesystem
    patents, demanding licenses from those who make digital cameras.
    Wouldn't look good to speak from both sides of one's mouth, would it?)

    Those who "assert" their rights know this and usually low-ball to
    prevent active litigation (this is, in fact, MickeySoft's technique
    re: VFAT).

    Looks like Forgent was asking for too much (duh!) or isn't aware of
    this simple fact of life.
    Yeah, 31 defendants, including:

    Adobe Systems, Agfa, Apple Computer, Axis Communications, Canon USA,
    Concord Camera, Creative Labs, Dell, Eastman Kodak, Fuji Photo Film,
    Fujitsu Computer, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, JASC Software, JVC,
    Kyocera, Macromedia, Matsushita, PalmOne, Panasonic, Ricoh,
    Broderbund, Savin, Thomson S.A., Toshiba and Xerox.

    The probability that one of these has the legal cajones to crush
    Forgent and its ludicrous claims is non trivial. In a sane world, the
    patent will be summarily tossed and Forgent's peepee given a hard
    legal whack.
     
    eawckyegcy, Apr 30, 2004
    #25
  6. Alan Browne

    eawckyegcy Guest

    Yet more curiosities one can dredge out of the net:

    http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/18703.html

    Compression Labs (which Forgent bought in 1997), actually participated
    in the JPEG "standards setting process".

    Now if CL can help make JPEG, and if CL never once asserted its
    "rights" to the thing it helped create -- and failed to do so for _10_
    years -- then wouldn't it be the case that when Forgent bought CL,
    they also purchased CL's patent delinquency?

    Or is it a special matter of US patent law that new owners of patents
    get a fresh start on the matter? Of course, if true, we then have the
    unusual delay from 1997 to 2002 to consider, do we not?

    Forgent says they only became aware of this scam^H^H^H, err, revenue
    str^H^H^H^H^H^H, um, solemn matter of intellectual "property" in 2001
    April during a "corporate restructuring". Perhaps this is enough to
    reset the clock?

    But then how do we explain the ~18 month delay from their exciting
    discovery to the commencement of these shakedowns^H^H^H^H^H, excuse
    me, "negotiations"?

    In other areas, the JPEG people are threatening to publish (oh no!
    get a restraining order!) a litany of prior art as well. It seems
    that some JPEG work goes back even further than 1986.

    Have you placed the sell orders of your Forgent stock yet? Perhaps a
    better investment would be in the law firm who is representing
    Forgent?
    I can find no evidence that Microsoft has entered into an agreement
    re: the '672 patent' with Forgent.

    http://www.computerworld.com/governmenttopics/government/legalissues/story/0,10801,92643,00.html

    See last paragraph. Do you have a citation for your claim?
     
    eawckyegcy, Apr 30, 2004
    #26
  7. Alan Browne

    Deathwalker Guest

    I'm surprised they just didn't buy forgent then break it up into segments or
    something.
     
    Deathwalker, May 1, 2004
    #27

  8. Sure, the socialists will always attack the system, whether it's
    capitalism, private property, intellectual property …
     
    Frank Ehrlich, May 1, 2004
    #28
  9. The US has laws to stffile innovation, and there are currently
    active patents on the wheel and the fire.

    Any outsider (non-trade group member) can still sue.

    Now, in Denmark the laws are better, since you must go out
    and protect your rights when you know somebody steps on them,
    otherwise you do not fulfill your requirements to limit the
    damage.

    In the US the best you can do is to never defend your patent
    before shortly before it runs out, and if at all possible you
    should do alll you can to make people use without a license, and
    punish them later.

    Stop software patents, contact your congressman.
     
    Povl H. Pedersen, May 2, 2004
    #29
  10. Alan Browne

    Paul J Gans Guest

    I have patented all use of the digit 4 on driver's licenses.
    The license fee is $2 per occurance. Please examine your
    driver's license and send me a check for the appropriate
    amount of money.

    Do not be fooled. I have no patent on the use of the digit
    4 in any other usage except driver's licenses. I am not
    greedy, although I am thinking of applying for a patent
    for a novel use of letters to allow numbers in the base
    16 to be easily expressed.

    ---- Paul J. Gans

    PS: I am a capitalist. Please do not tell me I can't have
    patents on these things. I can and I do. And my lawyers are
    better than your lawyers. Many companies have decided to
    pay up (my group fees are very reasonable) and my nest egg
    for court suits is much larger than yours.

    So don't be silly. I doubt you'd owe even as much as $100
    for your driver's license. Just pay up and you won't see
    me in court.
     
    Paul J Gans, May 3, 2004
    #30
  11. Alan Browne

    BillyBob Guest

    Actually I politely disagree - currently 50% of patents are overturned
    on
    I do not know how much you have looked into this case -

    Yes they own the patent - no dispute there.

    Should the patent have been granted in the first place - in my opinion no -
    in software there are only so many ways to do things - Also to take a patent
    on work done for an open standard is highly unethical to say the least.

    Patents are treated as winning the lottery nowadays since business is down.

    Settlements do not indicate the holder is right - it only indicates that the
    company settling felt it was easier to settle than fight - or it may have
    been cheaper. Patent infringement lawsuits will take years and usually a
    million dollars or more to fight.

    If they push too hard then companies may switch to JPEG2000 which is not
    encumbered with a patent - or they will just go to RAW formats since it
    would be the same thing.

    Curious why you are so supportive of Forgent - All they are doing is making
    everyone including you and I more for the products we buy without actually
    contributing anything in return.

    Time for the folks in Congress and the USPTO to revisit patents and how they
    are granted is what I think

    Billy B
     
    BillyBob, May 4, 2004
    #31
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