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Forgent lose JPEG patent battle

Forgent lose JPEG patent battle - Forgent, who claimed that free distribution of the popular JPEG image format infringed their patents, have lost their bid to claim licensing revenue from manufacturers who use JPEG compression in their hardware and software.

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Press Release:
Patent Asserted Against JPEG Standard Rejected by Patent Office as Result of PUBPAT Request: Public Interest Group's Review Results in Broadest Claims of Forgent Networks Patent Being Ruled Invalid

In the reexamination proceeding initiated late last year by the Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT"), the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected the broadest claims of the patent Forgent Networks is asserting against the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) international standard for the electronic sharing of photo-quality images. In its Office Action released yesterday, the Patent Office found that the prior art submitted by PUBPAT completely anticipated the broadest claims of the patent, U.S. Patent No. 4,698,672 (the '672 Patent).

Forgent Networks acquired the '672 Patent through the purchase of Compression Labs, Inc. in 1997 and began aggressively asserting it against the JPEG standard through lawsuits and the media in 2004. The company has the opportunity to respond to the Patent Office's rejection, but third party requests for reexamination, like the one filed by PUBPAT, result in having the subject patent either modified or completely revoked roughly 70% of the time.

"The Patent Office has agreed with our conclusion that it would have never granted Forgent Networks' '672 patent had it been aware of the prior art that we uncovered and submitted to them," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director. "Making matters worse here is that this new prior art was known by those who filed the application that led to the '672 patent, but none of them told the Patent Office about it, despite their duty to do so."

More information about the reexamination the Forgent Networks patent being asserted against the JPEG standard, including a copy of the Patent Office's Office Action rejecting its broadest claims, can be found at the Public Patent Foundation website

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Comments


markleach 9 1
30 May 2006 2:17AM
Thank god for that, otherwise we may have had to take Windows Media Photo seriously.

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deviant 10 3.0k 1 United Kingdom
30 May 2006 4:10AM
Bl**dy excellent result!
Big Bri 13 15.6k England
30 May 2006 8:56AM
Wish it had come before we forked out thousands of dollars.....
philipr 8 392
30 May 2006 9:25AM
bet Sony are peeved - they payed out 16 million!
deviant 10 3.0k 1 United Kingdom
31 May 2006 5:32AM
Serves them right.

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