Monthly Archives: November 2010

[UPDATED] Patent Madness by Tandberg?

Meet Lars Petter Endresen, Senior Engineer R&D at Tandberg. He is the official “inventor” named in this patent application:

METHOD, APPARATUS AND COMPUTER READABLE MEDIUM FOR CALCULATING RUN AND LEVEL REPRESENTATIONS OF QUANTIZED TRANSFORM COEFFICIENTS REPRESENTING PIXEL VALUES INCLUDED IN A BLOCK OF A VIDEO PICTURE

Business as usual. Strange claims on a very abstract level. The wonderful world of software patents.

BUT

In this case something strange is going on. Meet Jason Garett-Glaser, the primary developer of x264, a free h264/avc encoder.

Jason is not amused, to say the least. He claims that this patent effectively is a translation of his code commit to patent chinese. And his arguments backing the claim are quite impressive.

So according to the published information we have right now, it seems that Mr. Endresen filed a patent on something he didn’t create nor implemented. This could result in the true inventor being forced to remove his own code from his own software to avoid patent infringement. How weird is that?

This is patent business as usual. Unfortunately. While the politicians all across this planet are discussing stricter regulations on so-called plagiarism, infringement etc (think ACTA) this specific form of taking someone elses work and claiming to be its inventor is perfectly legal.

And you still ask why I personally think the patent system has severe problems? ;-)

[UPDATE] Jason tells the world in an update to his blog entry that he might have jumped to conclusions a bit too fast. This doesn’t change my arguments that there is a problem with the patent system though. A similar case has sprung up almost at the same time. And we all remember the SPF story (Sender Permitted From) which also shows the same pattern.

Heathrow Express – a rant

No reply so far.

From: “Jan Wildeboer” jwildebo@[redacted]
To: web_customer_correspondence@[redacted]
Subject: Heathrow Express
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2010 12:10:12 -0500
Message-ID: <[redacted]>

Dear sirs or madams,

Sitting on the heathrow express in the carriage with a sign that says “quiet
zone” next to someone watching TV on his iPhone with the built-in speakers
as the poor chap seemingly has no money to buy headphones,, two people
phoning quite loud on the other side of the aisle is not exactly what I
expected.

I fully understand the communication needs of all of these VIPs flying in
and out of Heathrow, but as a foreigner I try to respect the rules that are
shown to me.

Please educate me on what I am dong wrong. Is it some sort of insider joke
to phone in the quiet zone? Is it some kind of irony I don’t get? Or just an
indication that the quiet zone effectively means the opposite?

My idea: make another carriage the “loud zone” with speakers built in to
every seat, flashy lights everywhere.

Sincerely yours

Jan wildeboer