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31 Companies Sued Over JPEG Patent

In use since the mid-1980s, the JPEG, or Joint Photographic Experts Group, format has become the de facto standard for sharing photo-quality images electronically. Although the most widely used version of the format is in the public domain, Forgent said it believes that a 17-year-old patent it acquired through the purchase of Compression Labs in 1997 can be applied to a specific algorithm in the format.

Defendants in the lawsuit include some of the biggest names in the computing industry, from Apple and IBM to Kodak and Xerox — all of which use JPEG in their products. Forgent contacted each of the companies over the past year and offered them the chance to license the technology, said Forgent spokesman Michael Noonan. But none accepted, he said.

Read the full story at Wired News.