As Fast Company reports Austin, TX based Forgent Networks, who "In the three years ... decided there was more gold in subpoenas than in software" is trying its best to stifle the use of JPEG technology unless and until everyone who uses JPEG's coughs up some cash.
Forgent holds patents, including the 1987 vintage Patent No. 4,698,672 which the jPIGS (SUI!!!) at Forgent claim is allegedly being violated by virtually every company that has ever used JPEG image compression!
Specifically, a patent originally developed by the Compression Labs, Inc. is in issue.
United States Patent 4,698,672
Coding system for reducing redundancy
As Fast Company points out "No one really knows whether or not Forgent's patents will hold up in court; the company could collect anywhere from another $100 million-plus, according to an estimate from research firm J.M. Dutton & Associates, to zero. In October 2005 alone, three companies, including Research in Motion, decided to take out licenses from Forgent for undisclosed amounts.
"Yet Forgent could also be bluffing, hoping that others will decide to fold first. If so, it has met a tough opponent in Microsoft, which sued Forgent even though Forgent hadn't yet sued it ("Microsoft is known to be very litigious," says Snyder, with no trace of irony). It charges that Forgent's patent was obtained fraudulently. "Microsoft did not come up with anything new," says Snyder. "I'd point to $100 million-plus that says other people recognized [the patent] was valid." Microsoft wouldn't comment."
Seems to us that Forgent has never heard the term, pigs get fat but hogs get butchered. Hopefully the little piggies at Forgent will get the message eventually, in court. To help STOP THIS PATENT INSANITY and fatten the defendant's portfolio, the IdeaCop(tm) has put together a nice menu of potentially material prior art references for review, comment and annotation in the attached file.
Better yet, contact Forent
Richard N. Snyder, Chairman & CEO
108 Wild Basin Drive
Austin, TX 78746