THE ALLEGED JPEG PATENT

Here’s more information about Forgent’s claim that it has a patent on the .JPEG file format (see below). It’s not the first time that a company has waited until some technology has become ubiquitous and then popped up with a demand for royalties. The .GIF format went through the same thing in 1999, and a year later British Telecom decided it had the patent for hyperlinking on the Internet and started trying to extort payments from ISPs. The article has more examples and sets out a few ideas on how a company can act ethically if it intends to license technology.