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by Franki

Forgent is one company that makes me wonder if my dislike of Microsoft’s business tactics could have been better directed at them. Forgent has been handed around 100 million dollars for the compression patent that they claim is used in the Jpeg image compression standard. Apparently that is not enough as they’ve just added Microsoft to their list of targets. This comes in the same month that they have started targeting DVR companies, no doubt expecting the same hand outs they’ve been getting from the likes of Sony and Adobe. Microsoft has asked that the court declare them non infringing and invalidate the patent in question.

If we needed another reason to swap from JPG format to the open and free PNG format, we now have it. The only upside in this sorry saga is that Forgent went after Microsoft, a company that owns a huge pile of software patents and who has enthusiastically encouraged the official adoption of software patents in the EU. Perhaps this will make them wonder if opening themselves to a whole new era of software patent lawsuits is such a good idea. They are after all, one of the biggest targets with the deepest pockets. They have paid out huge sums of money to settle many such claims in the past couple of years, but if they keep coming at this rate, it will eventually significantly hit Microsoft’s bottom line and that is something that their shareholders won’t be very happy about. Microsoft is still working hard to extract itself from the Eolas browser plug in patent lawsuit. How many more does it need to become embroiled in before it sees how software patents are doing more harm then good?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If the giants upon who’s shoulders the current Internet stands had been as patent hungry as the current proprietary software developers are now, we would not have the (mostly) standards compliant cross platform Internet we have now. (for example, consider one Internet for Macintosh users, one Internet for Windows users and one Internet for Unix/Linux/BSD users all incompatible with each other. Much like the Instant Messaging mess we have now.)








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  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   November 17, 2017, 8:16 am
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