This is amazing. Do you remember that the Public Patent Foundation asked the US Patent Office to take another look at the JPEG patent? Yesterday, the reexamination proceeding initiated by PubPat bore fruit: the USPTO has rejected the broadest claims Forgent Networks is asserting against the JPEG standard on the basis that the prior art submitted by PubPat completely anticipated those claims.
Forgent can respond, but it seems they'll have some explaining to do, because PubPat's Executive Director, Dan Ravicher, says that the submitters knew about the prior art but failed to tell the USPTO about it. That is a very big NO. So don't let anyone tell you that efforts to find prior art are not useful.
PATENT ASSERTED AGAINST JPEG STANDARD REJECTED BY PATENT OFFICE AS
RESULT OF PUBPAT REQUEST: Public Interest Group's Review Results in
Broadest Claims of Forgent Networks Patent Being Ruled Invalid
NEW YORK -- May 26, 2006 -- In the reexamination proceeding initiated
late last year by the Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT"), the United
States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected the broadest claims of
the patent Forgent Networks (Nasdaq: FORG) is asserting against the
Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) international standard for the
electronic sharing of photo-quality images. In its Office Action
released yesterday, the Patent Office found 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).
Forgent Networks acquired the '672 Patent through the purchase of
Compression Labs, Inc. in 1997 and began aggressively asserting it
against the JPEG standard through lawsuits and the media in 2004. The
company has the opportunity to respond to the Patent Office's rejection,
but third party requests for reexamination, like the one filed by
PUBPAT, result in having the subject patent either modified or
completely revoked roughly 70% of the time.
"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,
PUBPAT's 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."
More information about the reexamination the Forgent Networks patent
being asserted against the JPEG standard, including a copy of the Patent
Office's Office Action rejecting its broadest claims, can be found at
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