AT&T Warns Apple, Others, Of Patent Infringement (MPEG4)

Faw

Faw

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 25, 2005
117
1
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
"AT&T possesses several patents related to video compression, which the company says are an essential component of the MPEG-4 video technology. In a bid to drive its global licensing program, AT&T has targeted Apple Computer, Inc., CyberLink Corp., DivX, Inc., InterVideo, Inc., and Sonic Solutions as unlicensed companies whose products and software utilize the MPEG-4 technology."

Check here.
 
L

lostlife

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 2, 2006
54
0
Ridgecrest, CA
who actually has the patent on mpeg-4 itself? how can one company only have a partial patent of a technology? that is ridiculous. why do the bells think they own and control everything!?
 
S

Sarang

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 30, 2005
315
0
I don't get this. I was of the knowledge that Microsoft created MPEG4.
 
cebbigh

cebbigh

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 24, 2005
1,601
0
Frostbite Falls
Doesn't ATT/SBC have working arrangements with both D and E? Is there any indication that this would in any way effect them?
 
damaged

damaged

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 22, 2005
2,605
1
South of Heaven
Funny it seems history betrays AT&Ts lies [1], since "The basic technology for MPEG-4 ALS was developed by the NUe Group (Fachgebiet Nachrichtenuebertragung) at Technical University of Berlin[2]."

It is also interesting they are going after DivX, besides DivX codec being superior to plain mpeg-4, they have had a clean-room version of the codec which is not bound by mpeg-4 patents[3].

[1]: http://www.nue.tu-berlin.de/forschung/projekte/lossless/mp4als.html

[2]: http://www.tu-berlin.de/

[3]: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1231838,00.asp

[4]: http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/faq.php#1

[5]: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70126-0.html

Can you say prior art?

First giving the NSA direct access to your customer databases [4] and [5], now this? Try again AT&T, you lose again at teh internetz!
 
Last edited:
mike123abc

mike123abc

Too many cables
Supporting Founder
Sep 25, 2003
24,265
3,174
Norman, OK
Just because they used a clean room to write the software does not mean it is free from patent issues. A clean room helps to insure copyright issues, but a method of doing something can be patented and unless you come up with another unique way of doing the same thing, you can violate the patent even though you never saw someone else's implementation.

I am personally against software patents since I believe that writing a program is essentially a function of free speach, but unfortunately the laws do not agree with me at this time.
 
damaged

damaged

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 22, 2005
2,605
1
South of Heaven
mike123abc said:
Just because they used a clean room to write the software does not mean it is free from patent issues.

Could you please provide a pointer (url, etc) to a reasonably trustworthy source where this is stated, i.e. a court precedence dealing with intellectual property perhaps?

On the other hand it does not mean it isn't free from patents. Just because something is law doesn't make it right, nor perpetually enforcable, this is what court is for.

If you are not a lawyer, than we are at an impass, for nor am I, this would then be a function of a court precedence.

This tactic is becoming common place, see SCOs attempt at trying to imply all unices should pay them licensing, and see how it is failing[1] and [2] miserably...it's all about precedence.

And one who just accepts something just because it passes into law without questioning it, serves us a dangerous look into the future, and it appears very grim indeed.

[1]: http://news.com.com/2100-1016-991464.html
[2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_v._IBM_Linux_lawsuit
 
Last edited:
mike123abc

mike123abc

Too many cables
Supporting Founder
Sep 25, 2003
24,265
3,174
Norman, OK
damaged said:
Could you please provide a pointer (url, etc) to a reasonably trustworthy source where this is stated, i.e. a court precedence dealing with intellectual property perhaps?

Just look at RIM blackberry case. It has been tied up in court for a long time. RIM developed the software for their servers and the handheld devices and they are being sued (and lost). Of course now they are attacking the validity of the patents and may win since they may have found some prior art. They are being sued on the concept of how the servers communicate with the handhelds. Even though they wrote the software and the patent holder never wrote any software they still lost the patent battle.

Look at Echostart being sued by TiVo. TiVo software was not used or copied in the Echostar DVRs but they are being sued for infringing on TiVo's patents. Who knows how this will eventually work out.

Patents do not describe how software is written but how it goes about doing something. Look at the first software patent for the set uid bit in Unix (now long expired). There is no code involved in the patent, it describes the concept of a bit being used to alter the identity of the user of a program to that of the program binary's owner while the program is running.

I believe that SCO is suing claiming that copywrited and trademarked code that they own was copied into Linux by IBM (by engineers who previously worked on licensed unix then went to work on Linux). This is different from the above cases.
 
Last edited:
I

iKramerica

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 20, 2004
249
8
"How it goes about doing something" is a bogus patent basis, though recently more legally sound. There are all sorts of recent patent lawsuits involving picking things from lists to play or record, as if the idea of playing or recording something from a list is new?

People have been doing this forever. A library card catalog is a huge list from which you pick a "program" to "view." A TV Guide is a list of programming from which you pick a program to watch or record. Doing this digitally doesn't make it a new idea, yet people are suing over DVRs, iPods, etc. claiming the interface concept is somehow novel.

Give me a break.
 
tnsprin

tnsprin

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 27, 2003
1,601
0
lostlife said:
who actually has the patent on mpeg-4 itself? how can one company only have a partial patent of a technology? that is ridiculous. why do the bells think they own and control everything!?
Standards come from the Motion Pictures Expert Group (MPEG), a working group of ISO/IEC.
site
http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg/who_we_are.htm

MPEG-4 is actually a very complicated mix of technologies that were contributed by many different companies and organazations.

Because of ISO rules the MPEG cannot deal with license or patents.

MPEG Industry Forum
http://www.m4if.org
exists not to license the product but in "driving the availability of licenses for the patents needed to implement MPEG-4." Among other things they are trying to encourage "patent pools" to make it easier for others to license what they need to implement software and products.
 
F

Friend

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 13, 2003
124
0
GeorgeLV said:
That is utterly incorrect.

That is not true, Microsoft had developed MPEG4 kind of version, which was supposedly used by DVB companies, If I remember VOOM was one of the earlier supporter.
http://news.com.com/Satellite+TV+snubbing+Microsoft/2100-1025_3-5544324.html
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/content_provider/film/ContentShowcase.aspx

Now There are 2 MPEG4 standards which are widely used.
1. MPEG-4 AVC (aka H.264) itunes,apple,DVB companies codecs like NeroDigital AVC, x264 which is - ISO 14496-10 (Video)

2. DVIX, XVID which most of the DVD player supports. - ISO 14496-2 (Video)

Now Microsoft was their own propriety one which was good one but most companies just feared Microsoft and went with open standard.

Excellent link for more information on this standards.
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=73022
by the way it also has excellent information about making back up of your DVD in different format with the tools, just go in forums and dig it.


Hope this helps :)
 

Similar threads

scottcorinna
Replies
11
Views
2K
Tyralak
Tyralak
S
Replies
0
Views
2K
sdsumann
S

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Top