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The JPEG patent

The JPEG patent

Posted Apr 29, 2004 12:34 UTC (Thu) by icculus_98 (guest, #8535)
Parent article: The JPEG patent

It poses a particularly interesting scenario, I think, because the JPEG
compression routine is nothing more than a glorified discrete cosine
transform.

In my mind, this would be like someone patenting the concept of
"frequency modulation", then going around and telling your FM radio
stations to fork over a few million dollars for IP infringements.


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The JPEG patent

Posted Apr 29, 2004 13:47 UTC (Thu) by jmshh (guest, #8257) [Link]

As I understand patents, you wouldn't be able to patent "frequency modulation", even 100 years ago, but the use of FM for some specific result, like less noise.

Example from chemistry: mixing of several chemicals is well known, but the specific recipe for creating some new stuff can be patented.

So here DCT is well known, but it's application to picture compression may be new.

The JPEG patent

Posted Apr 29, 2004 13:53 UTC (Thu) by icculus_98 (guest, #8535) [Link]

Right, you're saying that you can't patent a mathematical routine, but
you can patent the application of that routine to some specific function.

But what is a "picture" other than a sequence of bits? Same with a radio
signal, save for the analog <-> digital part. So someone could have
patented "Frequency Modulation of Microphone Acquired Signals", right?

The JPEG patent vs FM patent

Posted May 1, 2004 0:07 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

I don't follow. I agree that a patent for Frequency Modulation of Microphone Acquired Signals is analogous to a patent on DCT for picture compression (i.e. JPEG), but what argument does that make? Such an FM patent is not ridiculous in any way (assuming you mean it was issued before FM radio was public knowledge, as the JPEG patent was allegedly issued before DCT compression of pictures was public knowledge).

The JPEG patent

Posted May 1, 2004 17:25 UTC (Sat) by piman (subscriber, #8957) [Link]

And now you reach the fundamental fiction of intellectual property law today: Despite the fact that everything on a computer is only a stream of bits (some of which describe how to transform other streams of bit), we treat some of these bit streams differently than others. In some cases, the same bit stream gets treated differently whether you call it a "picture" or a "sound" or an "executable."

"So the legal system we have - blessed as we are by its consequences if we are copyright teachers, Congressmen, Gucci-gulchers or Big Rupert himself - is compelled to treat indistinguishable things in unlike ways." -- Eben Moglen


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