[Vorbis] patent issues with Vorbis
goemon at anime.net
Wed Mar 30 15:36:12 PST 2005
On Wed, 30 Mar 2005, Ralph Giles wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 30, 2005 at 12:04:07PM -0800, Dan Hollis wrote:
> > The law takes a _very_, _VERY_ dim view of companies who are aware of
> > infringement but _deliberately_ choose to do nothing until many years
> > later. As is the current situation with fraunhofer/mp3licensing. (except
> > that in this case, they _still_ have not filed any claims).
> Really? I know this is the case with trademark law, where there is a
> burden of active defence on the rights holder, but I'd never heard of
> it in connection with patent law. As with copyright, selective
> enforcement seems to happen all the time.
yes really. if you declare someone infringing, yet dont sue them for many
many years, the courts are going to ask why.
submarine patents are common, which is what you are probably thinking of.
however thats a completely different story (and the submarine patent
loophole was recently closed)
> If this is in fact the case, why was the sudden enforcement of the
> Unisys LZW patents, which happened only in the last 10 years of their
> validity, a problem with the gif image file format?
because unisys acquired the IP years after it was filed when burroughs and
sperry merged. nobody seemed to realize (including unisys) that GIF
infringed LZW until many years later.
this is quite a different situation than someone declaring to the public
outright that someone is infringing and then sitting around for many years
doing nothing about it. in the first case the courts would be lenient,
and in the second case the courts would be (and usually are) highly
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