[theora-dev] Re: [libdv-dev] DV format patent status

Arc Riley arc at xiph.org
Tue Feb 10 12:24:18 PST 2004

On Tue, Feb 10, 2004 at 11:35:24AM -0800, Jay Sprenkle wrote:
> Their failure to abide by their own rules,
> or failure to do so in what you consider a
> timely manner, will not help you when you're
> standing in front of the judge arguing why
> you own the rights to this. He will say "Why didn't
> you ask the patent office about patents?"
> Is this consortium legally bound to disclose?
> Are there any penalties specified if they fail
> to do so? Even if they are, can you actually
> sue them and win any remuneration if they
> fail to disclose? Trusting a secondary source
> for this is asking for trouble.

IANAL, but I disagree.  If they're part of publishing a standard, and 
fail to disclose patents which cover it, I believe the act of publishing 
the standard w/o patent claim whereas the standards body makes it a 
requirement... this should neuter any patent claim they later seek 
because they are, in effect, stating that they own no patent which 
covers the work.

Also, if the standards body states that members must disclose patents, 
they are in fact advertising that "unless otherwise noted, no patents 
cover any of the standards we publish".  If someone implements a 
standard they publish, and are sued, it's more than a legal issue.  That 
body looses reputability, which makes it in their best interest to get 
involved with the issue from the start .. either to defend the sued 
party, or to bring action against the member who was in violation of 
publishing the existance of their patent.

But again, IANAL, and it'll be interesting to see what the EFF has to 
say about all this.

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