U.S. PTO Smashes JPEG Patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected a patent that Forgent Networks was asserting against the JPEG images standard. (Linux-Watch)

Another attempt to tie down a standard with a patent has gone down in flames.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected a patent that Forgent Networks was asserting against the Joint Photographic Experts Group, better known as JPEG, images standard.

In the reexamination proceeding initiated late last year by the PUBPAT (Public Patent Foundation), The PTO Office Action released May 25 a finding that the prior art submitted by PUBPAT completely anticipated the broadest claims of the patent, U.S. Patent No. 4,698,672 (the 672 Patent).

"The Patent Office has agreed with our conclusion that it would have never granted Forgent Networks 672 patent had it been aware of the prior art that we uncovered and submitted to them," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPATs Executive Director.

"Making matters worse here is that this new prior art was known by those who filed the application that led to the 672 patent, but none of them told the Patent Office about it, despite their duty to do so," continued Ravicher.

As Pamela Jones of Groklaw noted, "That is a very big NO in patent law."

Forgent Networks, however, sees it in an entirely different light.

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