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Re: MP3 decoders' non-freeness

On Tue, Aug 06, 2002 at 12:53:03PM -0500, David Starner wrote:
> Thompson claims they require licensing. The questions I've heard are not
> over whether the patents are valid, but whether they cover decoding, an
> issue which would be up to a civil court, who would ask for predominance of
> evidence.

In a court case that would call into question one of Thompson's biggest
revenue streams, you could expect the big guns. A large number of
companies, with a large number of corporate/patent lawyers, already
pay Thompson royalties, which means that they at least thought the
situtation was insufficiently clear that legal fees weren't merited.

I agree that it may not be fair, but without tens of thousands of 
dollars (us), you wouldn't even be able to get through the pre-trial
motions. :/ The actual suit will be in the six to seven figure range.

I know a lot of companies that get by on flimsy patents because their
licensing terms come in just lower than even a successful law suit
would cost a would-be licensee.

Nobody that has been in a patent lawsuit will ever question the
real value of Xiph and their excellent work. :) (not that anyone
else would either)


M. Drew Streib <dtype@dtype.org>
Independent Rambler, Software/Standards/Freedom/Law -- http://dtype.org/

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