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Thread: The S3TC Patent Might Be Invalid

  1. #1
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    Default The S3TC Patent Might Be Invalid

    Phoronix: The S3TC Patent Might Be Invalid

    Here's another interesting thing from XDC2011 Chicago... While talking with Intel's Ian Romanick after lunch about OpenGL 3.0 support for Mesa, he mentions that the S3TC patent is invalid (or he thinks so) and could soon be enabled in Mesa...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTkxMQ

  2. #2
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    wow impressive! and now the floating point HDR graphic patent to and openGL3 is free to use LOL

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qaridarium View Post
    wow impressive! and now the floating point HDR graphic patent to and openGL3 is free to use LOL
    Yes, once the patent(s) in question are indeed proven invalid then its good to go. Would be good to see the floating point HDR one get shot down too. Not sure if there's a final ruling yet but we got to wait and see

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    What does it mean that patents are invalid? Someone has used the technology before it was patented or what?
    Why GPU vendors didn't invalidated the patent in the first place, and preffered to pay license?

  5. #5
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    Because always is cheaper to pay royalties than engage a fight in a court to invalidate a patent.

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    If this proves to be true, a huge (mental) blocker for the open-source graphics world has been removed! Finally the bikeshedding can stop

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stargeizer View Post
    Because always is cheaper to pay royalties than engage a fight in a court to invalidate a patent.
    How pitty!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by stargeizer View Post
    Because always is cheaper to pay royalties than engage a fight in a court to invalidate a patent.
    It is sometimes worse. If you invalidate a patent, you incur some cost and your competitors don't but if you pay royalty, your competitors might have to patent royalty too since you established precedent and hence it might be a strategic move rather than purely a economical move to keep paying royalty for a patent you know might just be bogus. This is not unusual.

  9. #9
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    When chatting with Ian, he mentions that in the past month or two that the S3TC patent was marked as invalid. This was evidently marked invalid in the HTC, which recently acquired S3 Graphics, and Apple patent battle. However, I haven't heard of this previously nor has Google.
    It was pretty widely talked about. HTC bought the company which owned the patent for a bunch of money and sued Apple over it, and Apple won some battle to have it invalidated in the US which left HTC with basically nothing for the money they spent.

    I wasn't sure the patent in question actually covered the entire use of S3TC or if it was some partial use, and I also don't know what the status is overseas. But maybe that doesn't matter if it's thrown out in the US.

  10. #10
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    Angry To hell with patents‼

    Quote Originally Posted by RahulSundaram View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stargeizer View Post
    Because always is cheaper to pay royalties than engage a fight in a court to invalidate a patent.
    It is sometimes worse. If you invalidate a patent, you incur some cost and your competitors don't but if you pay royalty, your competitors might have to patent royalty too since you established precedent and hence it might be a strategic move rather than purely a economical move to keep paying royalty for a patent you know might just be bogus. This is not unusual.
    Aren't patents just great? How the hell is all this mess supposed to support progress, which was the original intention when the concept of patents was introduced⁈ Does anyone else here think that patents have outlived their usefulness a very long time ago?

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