PUBPAT CHALLENGES DATA COMPRESSION PATENT TO PROTECT JPEG FORMAT: Patent Office Provided New Evidence Proving Patent Asserted Against International Standard Is Invalid
NEW YORK -- November 16, 2005 -- The Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT") filed a formal request with the United States Patent and Trademark Office today to revoke Compression Labs Inc.'s ("CLI") patent on data compression that the company is widely asserting against an international standard for the electronic sharing of photo-quality images. In its filing, PUBPAT submitted previously unseen prior art showing that the patent, which was issued in 1987, was not new and, as such, should be revoked.
"CLI is using the '672 patent to harass anyone that implements the Joint Photographic Experts Group ('JPEG') format," states PUBPAT's Request for Ex Parte Reexamination of U.S. Patent No. 4,698,672. "CLI's aggressive assertion of the '672 patent is causing substantial public harm by threatening this international standard on which the public relies."
Forgent Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FORG) acquired Compression Labs in 1997 and began an aggressive campaign of asserting the '672 patent roughly a year and a half ago, a decade after the patent was originally issued, by filing infringement lawsuits against dozens of companies that offer the public products or services relating to electronic image creation or distribution. Despite having a fledgling software offering, the assertion of patents is Forgent Networks' principal business activity.
"Forgent Networks is a classic example of the new and rapidly growing trend of patent holders that do nothing more than sue people who make products or services available to the public," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director. "Unfortunately, the patent system allows for such perverse behavior because it cares more about patent holders than it does the public."
PUBPAT's Request for Ex Parte Reexamination of U.S. Patent No. 4,698,672 can be found at PUBPAT > Forgent Networks JPEG Patent.