Linked by jrincayc on Fri 15th Jul 2011 17:14 UTC
Legal Patent term calculation is complicated in the US because there are essentially two different systems and quite a few corner cases. Even with a list of patents, it can be tricky to determine when the patents are all expired. Since I am a computer programmer (and not a lawyer), I created a program to try and automate this. This paper discusses how patent term calculation works, and some results from a combination of hand and automatic term calculation for MP3, MPEG-2 and H.264.
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RE[3]: Comment by static666
by jrincayc on Sun 17th Jul 2011 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by static666"
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The current issue is with patents that apply to some technology that weren't found on investigations, which eventually pop up.

We need a term for this. I some times think these should be called iceberg patents since most of them are hidden and hard to find.

The same could happen to MPEG-LA's portfolio.
A holder of a matching patent could kill (eg.) h.264 by licensing their patent in a way that excludes parallel licensing from MPEG-LA.

I think it would be entertaining to see what would happen if a holder of an essential H.264 patent required all implementations to be licensed by the GPL3 or another license that had similar patent provisions to the GPL3.

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