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Suddenly a JPEG Patent and Licensing Fee

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the where-have-I-heard-this-before. dept.

Patents 1223

Michael Long writes "Forgent Networks (www.forgentnetworks.com) has announced that it owns the software patent on JPEG compression technology, and has stated that it is "in contact" with computer, software, camera, and other digital imaging product manufacturers regarding licensing terms. This ambush of the digitial imaging industry will probably stand as the worst public relations nightmare a company can inflict upon itself."

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fp (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909504)

fp mf'ers

FIRST POST OH YEAH!!111 (-1, Troll)

mister_sparkle (545102) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909505)

And this is not a "troll", though it may be "offtopic".

FP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909506)

AC's rule d00dz

Certainly. (1)

revision1_1 (69575) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909507)

Look how well the online world views Unisys, after all.

Re:Certainly. (3, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909660)

Look how well the online world views Unisys, after all.

... he posted, on a website that uses gifs ...

FP?FP! (-1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909508)

FP!

I will now lead our congregation in prayer: (-1, Troll)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909509)

What the fuck?

Amen.

I'm outraged! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909510)

How can a company come in at this late date and declare a patent on jpeg? Isn't there prior art?

Re:I'm outraged! (1)

LordKariya (195696) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909667)

You know, I've followed the link to Forgent [forgentnetworks.com] and looked around... I see absolutely nothing about .jpg, .jpeg, or patented compression technology. Is this a joke ?

It's a good thing they can't do that.. (4, Funny)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909511)

... I don't think I can afford to have a lien on my porn collection.

No more jpegs? (2, Funny)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909516)

Well, there goes the porn industry.
Shall we go fractal? >www.iteratedsystems.com

They should do well with this... (5, Funny)

aslagle (441969) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909520)

Look at all the money the .gif royalties made Compuserve...

Re:They should do well with this... (4, Informative)

Prong (190135) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909595)

The applicable patent for GIF had to do with LZW compression, and was/is owned by Unisys.

Didn't apple try this? (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909525)

Hasn't apple tried this with GIF formats?

Just a company trying to make a quick buck...

Re:Didn't apple try this? (2)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909548)

Try Unisys not Apple.

Re:Didn't apple try this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909557)

Apple has a similar claim to ideas used within
PNG's not GIF's.

Re:Didn't apple try this? (5, Informative)

Kevinv (21462) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909558)

No, that was UniSys:

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/gif.html [gnu.org]

Apple is strangling Firewire adoption (IEEE 1394) with patent royalty fees.

Re:Didn't apple try this? (2, Informative)

thedbp (443047) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909609)

No, they're offering Firewire at an extremely reasonable cost to support current and future development of the standard. This is different because JPEG is already set in stone, its not being developed further, so there really is no need to profit from the format itself because the format itself needs no additional development. Its bollocks.

Re:Didn't apple try this? (0)

ihoppancakes (561925) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909610)

Retard

Re:Didn't apple try this? (2)

PsychoSpunk (11534) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909636)

Apple is strangling Firewire adoption (IEEE 1394) with patent royalty fees.

Really? [slashdot.org]

Re:Didn't apple try this? (1)

Frater 219 (1455) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909569)

Hasn't apple tried this with GIF formats?

No. That was Unisys, who hold (or held) a government-created thought monopoly over the LZW compression algorithm used in GIF.

Re:Didn't apple try this? (2, Informative)

Scarpux (556596) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909584)

Actually I believe that it was Compuserve and yes it was GIF. That is the reason that the PNG format [libpng.org] (pronounced 'ping') was developed. Besides PNG is technologically superior to GIF. Will it be time to create a patent free alternative to JPEG now?

Re:Didn't apple try this? (1)

Knacklappen (526643) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909642)

Hasn't apple tried this with GIF formats?
Nope, Compuserve/Unisys [google.com] .

Limiting the number of posts per day is censoring. What was wrong with them hidden at -1??
Guess, someone could yell RTFFAQ [slashdot.org] ... lol

Pantent? (1, Interesting)

krypto246 (567378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909530)

They can't, of course. Nobody judge would let this ruling stand. It's probably jsut a way for the company to exhort money from those it's suing.

Re:Pantent? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909566)

If you werent so eager for FP! maybe you could have slowed down and actually proofread your post. Either that or you are just an idiot.

Re:Pantent? (1)

gte275e (91656) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909583)

This is America. Hot coffee, anyone? Reparations for the ancestors of the slaves? If there is a slight chance of making a buck off of this, someone in this country will try it.

Eric Hollins

Re:Pantent? (5, Interesting)

Maeryk (87865) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909648)

Try reading the link thats posted. The patent has existed since 86. I dont think theres going to be much of a challenge to it at this point. Of course, the argument could probably be made that they never tried to liscence the technology before, and that they are doing something shady and underhanded by waiting until it is in use by millions upon millions of devices and *then* try to patent it.. but I dont know how that would work out.

Maeryk

One answer.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909534)

FEUP. (Fuck 'em... Use PNG)

haha so so funny my balls tickle (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909538)


Someone needs to patent Taco's sense of humor because IT IS SO FUCKING FUNNY.


switch to png (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909539)

Well, let's all change our jpeg to png :)

Re:switch to png (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909592)

PNG's and JPEG's do different things. It would be
bad to go from jpeg's to png's.

Re:switch to png (0)

stuuf (587464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909652)

lossy compresson exists for a reason. In a photograph, you can't a. tell the difference when some detail is removed. or b. find uniform blocks of color large enough that most lossless algorithms use.
did they patent the 8x8 pixel blocks?

Ticker symbol: FORG (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909541)

That seems about right.

By the way, they're trading at 4.42, down 0.08. Their 52 week high was all of 5.67, their 52 week low as 0.80.

Patently Absurd (2)

nuggz (69912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909542)

Well there is precident (gif).
Maybe something of this magnitude can force everyone to reexamine the current patent situation.

Now PNG (1)

joelwest (38708) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909543)

Now is the time to use free software like PNG. Let whomever liscence what they want. Ill just use PNG from now on.

Re:Now PNG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909608)

Amen, brother. I don't care how many WinTrolls in here slag Gnu/Linux, it's that Gnu freedom stuff I really appreciate in situations like this. The more free stuff on my system, and the more non-proprietary standards are adopted, the better. It's the only way to get out from under the thumb of the big corporations.

God bless free stuff.

Zoober

Re:Now PNG (1)

ShadeEagle (153172) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909664)

I agree. I, and many other websites (including but not limited to the MAME website) have switched over to PNG long ago... only stone-age browsers cannot view them, and even then - there is a plugin available for those ancient things.

[Trolling Stones] yet again. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909546)

Trolling Stones' third lyrics quiz for thursday!
See if you can get them all without using a search engine
You must provide the artist and song title for full credit.
Post your answers below.

1) Seems that the wrath of the Gods
got a punch on the nose
and it started to flow
I think I might be sinking

2) Shay plays on the fade
sliced like a ninja cut like a razorblade
so fast all the djs say damn

3) it was the best song in the world
look into my eyes and you will see
one and one make two
two and one make three
its destiny

4) a nuclear error
but I have no fear
cuz london is drowning and I
live by the river

5) the factory belches filth into the sky
pack like lemmings into shiny metal boxes

Oh Great.. (1)

CONTROL_ALT_F4 (585063) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909547)

Do I have to pay a license fee for all of my pr0n?

not big surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909550)

If the lesson is to be learned, We just shouldnt be so overconfident about "free software"

All your (1)

RebelTycoon (584591) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909552)

All your JPEGs belong to Us...

SOB... They just screwed an entire industry...

why now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909553)

if they'v had it all this time then why are they comming out now?

JPEG 2000? (3, Interesting)

thedbp (443047) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909554)

How about JPEG 2000? Are they claiming any rights to this compression scheme? Because to be honest, JPEG 2000 is FAR superior, and it wouldn't take too much effort for companies to say "screw your royalty, we're producing JPEG 2000 cameras, etc. from now on."

But this doesn't surprise me. After MS claimed ownership of parts of OpenGL, that sorta opened the floodgates for really sad attempts to bilk more money out of an already financialy strapped populace/industry.

First GIF, now JPEG (2, Insightful)

kentrel (526003) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909559)

Realplayer and their constant updating of their file formats, Quicktime and the same, Microsoft and their media formats. When are we going to see proper programs and file formats that remain backwardly compatible, and free to use. It's insane. The internet grew so fast because of sharing of technology. This kind of crap will only stifle it.

Late-in-the-game Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909560)

How similar is this to the whole Pop-Up-Advertising patent that was applied so late. Nobody thought they would win that - and they did, though there doesn't appear to be much happening with it. This one seems rather difficult to regulate as well.

Patent abstract and link (5, Informative)

Software (179033) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909563)

Forgive the karma-whoring (though I'm capped): Patent availble here [uspto.gov]

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.

This is so broad......... (3, Informative)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909669)

They could say this covers EVERYTHING, JPEG, MPEG, PNG, AVI etc etc etc. What the hell is wrong with the US patent office? I hope some high court has the sense to see that this patent is much to broad and will only stifle development.

Is it time to go to PNG then? (0, Redundant)

fialar (1545) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909567)

First a Burn All GIFS [burnallgifs.org] page, now what? A BurnAllJPEGS day? Any bets on how soon someone registers burnalljpegs.org?

-F-

who cares? (0)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909568)

We already fixed this problem when CompuServe freaked out about GIFs. We all use PNG now for everything.

Next.

Burn you're JPEGs (1)

Koyaanisqatsi (581196) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909570)

When is the "burn you're JPEGs" day going to be?

Trouble is, there is no PNG-like alternate that's widely accepted, not yet.

Re:Burn you're JPEGs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909641)

Listen, only you can make it widely accepted. You use it.

If everybody does the same as you, we won't have to worry about this utter bullshit.

Hey, I'm a big PNG man myself but come on; we can't all go about it just using it sparsely. We have to be aggressive.

i have an idea (1)

lo_fye (303245) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909576)

why don't the /.erc just patent 'innovative ideas' as a concept, and then we can reap all the benefits of everything in the world and just live forever on the royalties! goddamn those bastards for trying to charge for .gif, and these new bastards for following suit with .jpg now using php you can't even create .gifs on teh fly cause of that BS... Bahhhhhhhhhh!

USPTO Link (2)

4im (181450) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909577)

Here [uspto.gov] is the Patent text at USPTO.

If they are suscessful or not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909578)

Time to make histories biggest upgrade... Jpeg 2000!

Hey Muslim terrorists (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909581)

Do you want the credibility of the world? Please suicide bomb Forgent Networks.

Re:Hey Muslim terrorists (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909631)

Its fun to see you use "muslim" there. Bush and Cheney are christians who bombed WTC.

Best of luck to them... (3, Interesting)

Mr_Matt (225037) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909585)

*snort* what is the sound of millions of people flipping these guys off? Most people ignore the GIF compression threats - now we're supposed to fear for JPG suits? What about all the scanners out there whose default settings are to create JPG images? How about the thousands upon thousands of on-line amateur photographers whose thumbnails are in JPG format?

Let's face it: it was tough to change people's minds to use PNG instead of GIF. Do they really think they're going to make headway suing people for using JPG images? From the article:

"We wanted to ensure the investment community and the general public are clear about the terms of our valuable JPEG data compression technology, one of the many technologies we have in our patent portfolio," stated Richard Snyder, chairman and chief executive officer at Forgent. "We are in ongoing discussions with other manufacturers of digital still cameras, printers, scanners and other products that use JPEG technology for licensing opportunities."

Like I said, best of luck. I'd love to see this guy get his ass handed to him by the very large companies who use JPG compression.

Re:Best of luck to them... (1)

nege (263655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909630)

Most people ignore the GIF compression threats
True- and many more don't even know that there ARE restrictions. It's not completely logical to the average user that someone can OWN a format. Which to most people just means "three letter extension". Good luck with educating millions of people that .jpg is now something licensed, where before it was completely free use.

bad idea. (1)

mike77 (519751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909587)

Considering all of the backlash we're seeing against alot of companies now a days, I think is probably one of the most foolish/idiotic moves I've seen in a while. Hmmm, lessee pay a boat load of cash to some company for this, or develop a new format which can be compatible... wonder which will happen, and they'll get screwed...

PR nightmare or last-ditch effort? (1)

Swampfox (5285) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909589)

It's not really a "PR nightmare" if you have no other strategy for survival (which they apparently do not).

If your current market isn't working, your clue machine is terminally malfunctioning, and you can find a greasy enough patent lawyer to convince you that you can get a few bucks for your immortal soul, then it's a no-brainer (no pun intended).

Would that force the switch to wavelet (JPEG2000)? (5, Insightful)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909590)

The GIF fiasco led to the superior PNG format, will this promote the use of wavelet compression? Assuming a patent-free algorithm exists ... I know there's a bunch of patents on wavelets ...

It all comes to roust (1)

Thurian (466811) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909591)

More of the same, and we will all be just watching!

evil patents from unknown companies... (0)

stuuf (587464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909593)

I never even heard of Forgent until just now!
well, maybe more software will start to support JNG [libpng.org] now. unless 'jpeg network graphics' is a copyright violation.

forget it (1)

nege (263655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909594)

I thought it was "forget networks" which makes more sense to me somehow.

its not?? (1)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909676)

you mean its not? Damn, what network are we talking about again? I forget....

Good Thing (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909596)

All my graphics are ".jpg" files.

Just a reminder, kids (5, Funny)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909600)

Do not:
  1. Call them repeatedly at 866/276-FORG (3674) asking if their refrigerator is running.
  2. Pound www.forgentnetworks.com in the ass repeatedly with any scripts you kiddies might be tempted to use.
Do:
  1. Have them check out that Goatse guy for his espressive use of "their" technologies.
Thank you for your support.

I wonder... (1, Funny)

nherc (530930) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909601)

I wonder if they paid Compuserve the royalities for all of the .GIF's they use on their website?

Hmm...

Re:I wonder... (2)

Copperhead (187748) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909668)

Please mod this up!

Anyone who can point out the hypocracy of others deserves it, IMO.

so? (1)

Jacer (574383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909606)

it won't hold up. you know what a pair of roller blades are? yeah, that's right, inline skates, roller blades are a name brand, however because almost EVERYONE calls inline skates roller blades, roller blade lost it's case against all of those people. george lucas is trying to avoid the same thing when he won't let people make movies on the expanded universe, but because of other constraints, he has to allow parodies, if he allowed one serious movies, others could strong arm him into allowing it, scale that back, since .jpeg is a standard, the patent more than likely won't hold, i feel the same way about MS trying to lay claims to the OpenGL standard

This is akin to Perl Harbor (1)

ECXStar (533351) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909607)

Talk about sneak attack! This crap's gota stop. Companies that use these types of tactics are the lowest form of corporate entity. Waiting until the market is saturated with a technology then announcing you have a patent ought to be illegal or some other remedy needs to be sought to curb this abuse. Again, companies are showing the world what ethics are really about. NADA...

Great (1)

new_breed (569862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909611)

Let another company make a fool of themselves..This move shows absurd arrogance, and will only inflict damage on them. I hope this stuff gives them enough of a bad name to put them out of business. Good riddance.

can you hear that? (2)

gonar (78767) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909612)

that ringing you are hearing is the bell tolling for jpeg and forgent.

Burn all GIFs (1)

qurob (543434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909615)


Burn all JPEGs, too?

We have to do something

Sigh (1)

Now15 (9715) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909617)

It's Unisys all over again. I'd love to see the look on Forgent Networks' collective faces when Adobe, Kodak, and the rest of the world tells them they don't gif a damn...

PNG time? (1)

b00 3rn5 (593878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909619)

Is PNG [libpng.org] the only OS graphics solution than can stand up against GIF and JPEG? It certainly isn't comparible, but maybe events such as these will get the fire going.

JPEG format released into public domain (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909621)

The best known standard from JPEG is IS 10918-1 (ITU-T T.81), which is the first of a multi-part set of standards for still image compression. A basic version of the many features of this standard, in association with a file format placed into the public domain by C-Cube Microsystems (JFIF) is what most people think of as JPEG!

For everything else, there's Folgers Crystal Meth

Thanks for promoting open standards (2, Insightful)

Froze (398171) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909622)

Maybe this type patent nonsense will finally get more companies to see that open standards are in fact a safer way to build their products.

No patents on "public" protocols (4, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909624)

And this is why RAND is unacceptable in any public standard. Any body making public standards should require all participants to provide a license to anybody using that patent for the purpose of implementing that standard free of charge to all.

Given how patent-encumbered JPEG-2000, MPEG-4 et. al. are, this will seriously interfere with open implementation of these standards.

Would that that would slow their adoption....

Brutal... (1)

DenOfEarth (162699) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909625)

Does anyone else think that this is a bit out of hand. I'm not sure what they expect to reap from this, but I wonder why these claims have never been made before. What are the open Alternatives to JPG, in the way that PNG is alternate to GIF?

Don't most people.. (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909626)

Already have programs with the "free" JPEG compression included in it? They can't really stop the flow of information... i think compuserve was able to damper GIF because they caught it earlier in it's life, but it's pretty much just a futile attempt for JPEG at this point...

Furthermore, I believe this is a horrible move because now camera companies and what not might start developing propietary image formats in an attempt to save money... can you say "crap image formats everywhere"?

The Troll Polka: UPDATED by poopbot (-1)

adexonq (587094) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909628)

THE TROLL POLKA (ARSCHFICKEN MIT ZIEGEN)
By Serial Troller, 2002-06-25

Is das nicht ein early post? Ja! Das ist mein early post!
Is das nicht ein Goatse ghost? Ja! Das ist mein Goatse ghost!
Early post, Goatse ghost,
Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks!

Is das post at minus one? Ja! Das ist at minus one!
Is das trolling so much fun? Ja! Das trolling is so fun!
Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost,
Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks!

Is das nicht ein big crapflood? Ja! Das ist mein big crapflood!
Is it worthless Linux FUD? Ja! Das ist mein Linux FUD!
Big crapflood, Linux FUD, Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost,
Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks!

Is das nicht der CowBoiKneel? Ja! Das ist der CowBoiKneel!
Is dis nicht his manchode meal? Ja! Das ist his manchode meal!
CowBoiKneel, manchode meal, Big crapflood, Linux FUD,
Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost,
Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks!

Is das nicht ein WIPO Troll? Ja! Das ist der WIPO Troll!
Is das nicht ein Goatse hole? Ja! Das ist der Goatse hole!
WIPO Troll, Goatse hole, CowBoiKneel, manchode meal,
Big crapflood, Linux FUD, Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost,
Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks!

Is das nicht Jon Katz' slave boys? Ja! Das ist Jon Katz' slave boys!
Und are they not Taco's sex toys? Ja! They are Taco's sex toys!
Katz' slave boys, Rob's sex toys, WIPO Troll, Goatse hole,
CowBoiKneel, manchode meal, Big crapflood, Linux FUD,
Minus one, trolling fun, Early post, Goatse ghost,
Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Slashdot sucks!

Is das nicht ein trolltalk thread? Ja! Das ist ein trolltalk thread!
Is it nicht now FUCKING DEAD? Ja! Is really FUCKING DEAD!
Trolltalk thread, FUCKING DEAD! Katz' slave boys, Rob's sex toys,
WIPO Troll, Goatse hole, CowBoiKneel, manchode meal,
Big crapflood, Linux FUD, Minus one, trolling fun,
Early post, Goatse ghost,
Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene, Oh, du schoene,
Slashdot sucks!

____________________

Change Log:

* Subtle changes to most verses. It sounded really gay before.
* Removed all references to Taco's pud. May have been high at time. Will investigate further.
* Finally think I have goat sex written correctly in German. I think. Arschficken?

(C) 2002 Serial Troller. Permission to reproduce this document is granted provided that you send all the bukkake porn you can find to serialtroller@hotmail.com.

- posted by poopbot: for the crapflooder in all of us

oBDLc8ptR1 Post #270

Fields of use / patent ownership vs creation? (5, Informative)

sparty (63226) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909633)

First, they mention owning the patent for all fields of use except satellite broadcast...does that mean that if I'm going to prepare a digital photo for satellite Internet trasmission, their patent doesn't cover it?

Second, they mention declaring that they have / own / control the patent, but they don't mention who developed the technology. Does anybody know if they just bought the patent from someone? Did they actually come up with the technology? Or did they sign a contract with a patent holder who has given them exclusive licensing rights for certain fields of use?

JPEG does appear to be patent-encumbered [w3.org] , by patents such as this one [sri.com] , but I can't find any references to Forgent or the patent number referenced in its press release.

Will this push JPEG 2000? (3, Interesting)

cqnn (137172) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909634)

Now that JPEG 2000 has finally been standardized, and more companies are starting
to adopt it as a better JPEG both for compression and image quality;
can't the industry just tell Forgent to stick their patent where the
pixels don't shine?

Yes, I know there would still be a transition period to convert all that Pr0n over.

How can they have a patent? (2, Informative)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909635)

JPEG [w3.org] what are they sueing over? Their own propritary addition to JPEG? Cause the base is supposed to patent free, only?

Actual Patent Text... (1)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909637)

Found here [uspto.gov] , filed October 6, 1987.

First paragraph:

"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."

Been here, done this (2)

mblase (200735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909639)

This ambush of the digitial imaging industry will probably stand as the worst public relations nightmare a company can inflict upon itself.

Rather like the Unisys LZW (GIF) patent fiasco [cloanto.com] from, when was it, 1994? Or the more recent Fraunhofer MP3-compression [mp3licensing.com] patent enforcement?

Either the company will cave in, or the software developers will, and we'll all move on to a different JPEG compression technology. Same as before.

It's too bad this site isn't slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909640)

All I want to see is this site slashdotted. Too bad they can afford the bandwidth.

Forget Forgent.... (3, Funny)

cskaplan (108764) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909644)

Now is the perfect time for us to consider widespread adoption of Zeosync's [slashdot.org] miraculous 100-to-1 compression technology.

Amazing , guess I'll have to break my piggy bank! (1)

curtisk (191737) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909645)

This will never effect any of us, just like the GIF thing a while back....and even if they tried to "strong arm" their Patent via fees and such, they would be the scourge of the tech world, and someone will just make the next "JPEG" compression scheme....talk about bringing heat to your company....its amazing that companies try this .....especially the weekly occurances of " Hey we have the patent/copytright on hyperlinks " LOL

I wonder how long... (2)

Technician (215283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909646)

How long will it be before the camera manufactures release cameras using the .PNG format instead of the .JPEG format. How soon before a burn all JIF's page comes online like the burn all GIF's?

http://burnallgifs.org/

wheeee, submarine patents. (2)

mikeee (137160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909647)

Forgent Networks apparently is pretty forgentful, if they fergont to mention this until now.

Now, the Diaper Genie [babycenter.com] , there's an invention worthy of its patent.

Wha? (5, Interesting)

idfrsr (560314) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909649)

If you don't collect licensces for your patent immediately, (i.e. within a reasonbale time frame) why do you get to do it years later (after everyone started using because it was free and efficient)?

Shouldn't your patent expire if you don't do anything to collect on it?

My new investment strategy is going to be patents. It certainly seems to be the only thing worth any money besides real estate. Surely there are patents sitting around that you can invest by buying them...

full patent application here (3, Informative)

lingqi (577227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909650)

check it [uspto.gov] out...

it's kinda long. will talk more when i go through the damn thing.

Worst PR disaster? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909654)

This ambush of the digitial imaging industry will probably stand as the worst public relations nightmare a company can inflict upon itself.

Doesn't really matter. Arguably corporations have more rights than humans these days.

Consider that Microsoft hasn't been punished yet for its monopolistic practices and in the interim is pushing through some pretty Orwellian products.

Consider that earlier on the front page the Baby Bells were given the go-ahead to sell information about its customers' phoning habits.

Consider that depending upon which company you work for that's cooked the books, the government will pay more or less attention to it depending upon the company's political donations.

Consider that the Bush administration is flooded (Bush, Cheney, the SEC and Thomas White) with people in conflicts of interest, and nobody is going to do anything about it.

(Feel free to reply with your own additions to this list...)

In other words, the time might never have been riper to try something like this.

Why do I keep reading them as Forget? (2)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909657)

As in: FORGET IT!!!

Unisys (1)

SpamJunkie (557825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909659)

Well Unisys was allowed to do it, so it's not surprising. Until someone in American government does something to disallow this kind of patent entrapment it will not end.

It matters little how feasible their patent claim is. The very threat of a possible lawsuit is enough to make most companies roll over and cough up licensing fees.

I think this is an idiot misreading a patent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909665)

"Referring to FIG. 2, the Differential Pulse Code Modulated (DPCM) loop consists of a cosine transform unit 11, a normalization unit 12, a quantization unit 13, an inverse normalization unit 16, an inverse transform unit 17, a delay memory 18, and a prediction unit 19. In operation, an input pixel block on lines 5 from the present frame is first subtracted in subtractor 10 by its estimation from the previous frame on line 23 on a pixel-by-pixel basis to generate block differences."

Previous frame? Block differences? This reads more like a patent that would affect MPEG. I'd love to see this guy TRY to apply this to JPEG.

Stake Your Claim Now (1)

azadrozny (576352) | more than 12 years ago | (#3909671)

I might as well jump on the banwagon. I am anouncing today that I will be seeking the patent rights to the .html and .txt file formats. I will make you all pay dearly! ;)

Call in the BSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3909674)

I say we all call in anonymous tips to the BSA, about stolen software, illegal mp3 caches, etc, at FORG. Given that we all know there's a 100% certainty of the BSA-goons finding at least one or two unauthorized files, it could well end up costing them enough to let them understand just how much pain they're getting themselves into by being such morons....
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