[libdca-devel] Re: patent claims

Måns Rullgård mru at inprovide.com
Wed Dec 22 21:40:07 CET 2004

Gildas Bazin <gbazin at videolan.org> writes:

> 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: 
> http://v3.espacenet.com/textdoc?DB=EPODOC&IDX=CN1208489&F=0&RPN=EP0864146&DOC=deb45b02a96927e0985109c18941e8b85f&QPN=EP0864146
> 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 ?).

Are software patents valid at all in Europe?

> 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.

Something is still better than nothing, IMHO.

> 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.

Could it be distributed from some other country instead?

>> 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.

I notice the svn repository is still accessible if I use my password.
Still not much point committing changes, though, and it might not be a
good idea to do so either.

Måns Rullgård
mru at inprovide.com

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