US patent office agrees to review JPEG patent


— 1:39 AM on February 3, 2006

The US patent office has agreed to review the controversial "JPEG patent" owned by Forgent Networks. The patent in question was originally granted to Compression Labs in 1987. Forgent purchased Compression Labs ten years later, acquiring the patent in the process. However, it's only been relatively recently that Forgent has actually tried to enforce the patent through lawsuits. They've apparently been somewhat successful, as well. Forgent claims to have taken in over $100 million in licensing revenues related to the patent, and they haven't been shy about taking on Adobe, Microsoft, Google, and other heavyweights.

According to the Public Patent Foundation, the group that originally requested the review, the JPEG patent should have never been issued due to the existence of prior art. Evidence of that prior art has been submitted to the US patent office, but there's no word on when they'll rule on the matter. You can read the JPEG patent in its entirety here.

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