Google To Abandon Its Attempt to Patent Use of Public Domain Algorithm
2018-09-02, 02:18 PM,
At EFF, we often criticize software patents that claim small variations on known techniques. These include a patent on updating software over the Internet, a patent on out-of-office email, and a patent on storing data in a database. Now, Google is trying to patent the use of a known data compression algorithm - called asymmetric numeral systems (ANS) – for video compression. In one sense, this patent application is fairly typical. The system seems designed to encourage tech giants to flood the Patent Office with applications for every little thing they do. Google’s application stands out, however, because the real inventor of ANS did everything he could to dedicate his work to the public domain.

Jarek Duda developed ANS from 2006-2013. When he published his work, he wanted it to be available to the public free of restrictions. So he was disappointed to learn that Google was trying to patent the use of his algorithm. In his view, Google’s patent application merely applied ANS to a standard video compression pipeline. Earlier this summer, Timothy B. Lee of Ars Technica published a detailed article about the patent application and Duda’s attempt to stop it.

This week, the Patent Office issued a non-final rejection of all claims in Google’s application. The examiner rejected the claims on a number of grounds. First, he found the three broadest claims ineligible under Alice v CLS Bank, which holds that abstract ideas do not become eligible for a patent merely because they are implemented on a generic computer. The examiner rejected all of the claims for lack of clarity and for claiming functions that are not described with sufficient detail (applicants are often able to overcome these kinds of rejections with an amendment).

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2018-09-02, 02:23 PM,
Google has gone full Apple.
2018-09-02, 02:40 PM,
Patents only seem to hinder our progress overall
2018-09-02, 02:48 PM,
We really need to ditch the concept of software patents.
2018-09-02, 03:03 PM,
This means literally nothing. This is standard procedure in the patenting process.
2018-09-02, 03:57 PM,
Corporations are objectively evil entities.
2018-09-02, 04:01 PM,
Software patents are anti competitive

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