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Re: Forgent starts litigating JPEG...

On Mon, Apr 26, 2004 at 07:14:49PM +0100, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 26, 2004 at 11:30:55AM -0400, Anthony DeRobertis wrote:
> > "Forgent Networks said Friday it sued 31 major hardware and software  
> > vendors, including Dell and Apple Computers, for allegedly infringing  
> > on its claim to an algorithm used in the popular JPEG picture file  
> > format."
> > <http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,63200,00.html? 
> > tw=wn_bizhead_1>
> > 
> > They've started suing. Is JPEG any different than GIF was, especially  
> > if this whole mess is settled out of court or worse won by the  
> > plaintiff?
> Their patent expires *really* soon, like, a few months away. It's
> likely that the issue will become moot.

It has been speculated that this will trigger a defense based on the
principle of laches, which is the civil-law counterpart to a statute of

It's a way of pointing out in terms of a legal defense how mighty
*convenient* it is for a patent holder to wait until 6 months before the
termination of a 20-year patent term to sue anyone for infringement.

It's interesting that political conservatives in the U.S., normally so
hostile to civil plaintiffs, seem to find laches disgusting.

Probably because a submarine patent is a means of collecting corporate
welfare, which is a very "conservative" thing to do.

G. Branden Robinson                |    The errors of great men are
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    venerable because they are more
branden@debian.org                 |    fruitful than the truths of little
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    men.         -- Friedrich Nietzsche

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