[libdca-devel] Re: patent claims

Gildas Bazin gbazin at videolan.org
Wed Dec 22 14:11:40 CET 2004

On Friday 17 December 2004 13:44, Måns Rullgård wrote:
> Has anyone done any further investigation regarding the claims of DTS
> Inc?

I'm not involved in the negotiations between the ECP (the school 
hosting/managing the VideoLAN project) and DTS Inc. so don't take my answer 
as the official version of what's going on.

DTS Inc. sent a threat letter to the ECP asking them to stop distributing 
libdts which they say infringes on their patent. And they do indeed own a 
patent on DTS Coherent Acoustics.
For the European version (which was apparently granted on 2004/10/13), see: 

The patent might be challengeable (at least for the decoder side) because it 
doesn't describe any invention as such but more a format of data (remember 
the infamous M$ patent on the ASF format ?).

However as everybody knows, it is a lengthy and expensive process to try to 
challenge (even a bogus) patent so I don't really expect the ECP will take 
this route.

There were also talks about getting a license from DTS Inc. but I don't 
think this will play well with the GPL anyway.

All in all it doesn't look too good to me, and even if the ECP decides to 
challenge the patent, it will take an awful long time before we can 
distribute libdca again.

> There are some little bugs and glitches I'd lend a hand in fixing, but
> it seems like a waste of time if we are not allowed to distribute the
> code.

Yeah, that really is a shame.


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