Another Patent Gone Bad

Wired reports Forgent Sues Over JPEG Patent.  According to the article, Forgent acquired a 17-year-old patent when it purchased Compression Labs in 1997 that Forgent believes can be applied to JPEG.  Also according to the article, Forgent has generated about $90 million in fees on the patent from 30 licensees in Europe, Asia and the United States of which Sony accounts for $16 million.

I ask, what value did Forgent add to the world for their $90 million in revenue?  Absolutely nothing.

Patents are a concept that have outlived their benefit, at least in the software world. Instead of fostering innovation today, they stifle it and create huge expenses for required due diligence to ensure technology does not violate a patent.

In my opinion, patents should be drastically reformed, if not abolished.

One Reply to “Another Patent Gone Bad”

  1. You are SO true, Mike! It’s pretty ridiculous, and became blatantly so with Amazon’s one-click patent. I like the idea of limited protection for ideas, but the patent office seems to be doing a lame job of determining whether an idea is new or if it is just new to them.

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