Forgent sues Apple, 30 other companies over image compression patent

Forgent Networks announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Compression Labs Inc., has initiated litigation against 31 companies for infringement of United States Patent No. 4,698,672 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. Over the last two years, Forgent’s intellectual property business has generated approximately $90 million from licensing the ‘672 Patent to 30 different companies in Asia, Europe and the United States. Forgent has sought to reach agreements on numerous occasions with all these companies, but as of today, none of the defendants have chosen to license. Forgent has retained Jenkens & Gilchrist, a national law firm, and The Roth Law Firm, of Marshall Texas, to represent it in the litigation.

The defendants are: Adobe Systems Incorporated, Agfa Corporation, Apple Computer Incorporated, Axis Communications Incorporated, Canon USA, Concord Camera Corporation, Creative Labs Incorporated, Dell Incorporated, Eastman Kodak Company, Fuji Photo Film Co U.S.A, Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Gateway Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, International Business Machines Corp., JASC Software, JVC Americas Corporation, Kyocera Wireless Corporation, Macromedia Inc., Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, Oce’ North America Incorporated, Onkyo Corporation, PalmOne Inc., Panasonic Communications Corporation of America, Panasonic Mobile Communications Development Corporation of USA, Ricoh Corporation, Riverdeep Incorporated (d.b.a. Broderbund), Savin Corporation, Thomson S.A., Toshiba Corporation and Xerox Corporation.

The ‘672 Patent relates to digital image compression, and fields of use include any digital still image device used to compress, store, manipulate, print or transmit digital still images such as digital cameras. However, the ‘672 patent extends beyond digital cameras and includes many digital still image devices such as personal digital assistants, cellular telephones, printers, scanners and other devices used to compress, store, manipulate, print or transmit digital still images. Forgent has the exclusive right to use, license and enforce all the claims under the ‘672 Patent in all fields of use involving digital still image compression.

“Forgent is committed to developing all of its assets and technologies to maximize shareholder value. We believe we will prevail in this litigation as the ‘672 Patent is valid, enforceable and infringed,” said Richard Snyder, chairman and CEO of Forgent in the press release. “It’s unfortunate that despite the many opportunities these companies have had to license the patent, they have all declined to participate, leaving us no alternative but to litigate.”

Forgent Networks provides a spectrum of scheduling software that enable organizations to streamline the planning and execution of their meetings, helping to increase productivity and reduce costs. Forgent’s offerings include Network Simplicity’s Meeting Room Manager, which provides room scheduling, and ALLIANCE, which provides unified scheduling of all meeting logistics using the corporate calendaring platforms of Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook. Forgent also generates and licenses intellectual property related to collaboration technologies. For additional information visit [url=http://www.forgent.com]http://www.forgent.com[/url]

43 Comments

  1. Is this M$+SCO sort of thing?
    USA is totally freak with these patent issues.
    I think I will patent sex in the USA and then sue everyone even those who do not make sex. I am not sure… eating is already patented by McDonalds?
    My sex patent will include compress, store, manipulate, print and transmit parts.
    Compress and de-compress penis.
    Store sperm, milk, babies (up to nine months) and needs.
    Manipulate partner so that he/she wants sex.
    Print marriage licenses or divorce papers.
    Transmit feromones, sperm, children etc
    Yes. Thats what I am going to do ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />
    It is so funny that these companies who haven’t invented anything owns patents that are so obvious and that you can patent these kind of things in USA is plain stupid. We can all blame Bush. (I maybe have to patent the Blame Bush thing too it is like blame Canada*1000 000 sorry *150 billion (amount of money wasted in Iraq or *xxxx billion stolen from poor Americans)

  2. not to get too deeply into anything, but i think the average joe’s understanding of patent law doesn’t really go far enough to understand most patent suits. for example, guy from finland, you couldn’t patent sex unless you could prove you were the first to invent it….which is obviously disproven by the existence of the human race for the past few thousand years. patent law is complicated, which is why patent lawyers exist, to learn this stuff and sort it all out. and why did you have to bring bush into this? as if he singlehandedly, over the past couple centuries of legislation in the USA, found a way to change US patent law. I haven’t heard anyone make a statement like that since 3rd grade, where disputes are backed up by “i told you so’s” and “he started it’s.” grow up about 20 years and maybe we’ll start talking about politics.

  3. Youre gonna blame Bush for the patent suits in the USA? are you cracked? How about instead of whining about everything that is wrong in the world everyone who is whining get involved in some worthwhile cause (that doesn’t involve being a human shield for a despot) and start to solve some real problems instead of looking for a “messiah” to lead them to everlasting peace in this life. Jesus, God, Allah, etc is what we look for in the afterlife, in life we are supposed to take responsibility for our actions. Sorry for the rant, but Im tired of the whining.

  4. Considering that Microsoft supports pretty much the same compressed image formats as Apple, I see 2 possibilities:
    1. MS licenses the patent. Unlikely since it is Microsoft standard procedure to steal, cheat, buy, E3 (extend, embrace, extinguish).
    2. MS paid for the license and fund the lawsuit a la SCO as our friend from Finland mentioned. Very likely since the current trend is to manipulate the law enforcement to their advantage.

  5. Good luck Forgent. Next you will be saying that you invented the computer and everything that goes along with it. Get real, do you think these companies will roll over? I guess they didn’t want to go after MS because they feel MS is playing by the rules? What about Real Networks, Divx, Sun and every other company that has some kind of compression. Doh! Did they invent the process of math calculations as well? Not to mention all the political connections these companies have. Can you say, “small fish in a freak’n huge pond….full of sharks”?

  6. steve m “which is obviously disproven by the existence of the human race for the past few thousand years”

    Do I spot a creationist in our midst? Surely you mean millions?

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