JPEG Patent Ruled Invalid

In a ruling that is expected to be a sigh of relief for many corporate internet giants (and surfers), Forgent's "submarine patent" claim of ownership of the common JPEG file compression format was ruled to be broadly invalid by the US Patent Office. The original patent was granted by the USPTO to Forgent but The Public Patent Foundation (PubPat) challenged the patent claiming prior art. Since 2002, Forgent has said it would enforce it's patent and has sucessfully extracted over $90 million USD from dozens of companies using JPEG images on the internet. In 2004 it also initiated lawsuits against dozens more who refused to pay royalties and sign licensing agreements. Those lawsuits and licensing agreements may now be in jeopardy.

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