JPEG: farewell to the standard?
According to The Register, ISO may take an unprecedented action withdraw JPEG standard if Forgent Networks continues to demand royalties on a seventeen-year old patent.
The Register cites both JPEG, and Forgent representatives. According to Richard Clark, JPEG.org webmaster and JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) committee member, such a royalty grab makes ISO to withdraw the specification, as it standardize only free or RAND (reasonable and non discriminatory) standards. But as Forgent hasn´t published the JPEG licensing conditions, and "one manufacturer" had to pay the company $15 million, its claims are not RAND.
Clark said that their current assumption is that patent is not valid, however he added that it will become invalid in 2004 (under the old rules, seventeen years after filing, rather than twenty years after a grant). It´s unknown what actions may Forgent take about those unwilling to pay for JPEG, as its representative hasn´t yet said about it.
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