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Title    Google Accused of Trying to Patent Public Domain Technology
Date    Tuesday September 12 2017, @08:23PM
Author    Fnord666
from the patently-wrong dept.

MrPlow writes:

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow8963

A Polish academic is accusing Google of trying to patent technology he invented and that he purposely released into the public domain so companies like Google couldn't trap it inside restrictive licenses.

The technology's name is Asymmetric Numeral Systems (ANS) [1, 2], a family of entropy coding methods that Polish assistant professor Jarosław (Jarek) Duda developed between 2006 and 2013.

Over the years, due to its many advantages, variations of Duda's ANS technology — tANS and rANS — have been adopted in several data compression systems, such as Apple's LZFSE compressor, Facebook's Zstandard compressor, and Google's Draco 3D compressor.

Further, ANS is also currently considered for the coding phase of AV1, an upcoming open video coding format.


[...] In a patent application complaint he filed in the US and with WIPO officials, Duda specifically mentions that he published all ANS research in the public domain to "protect its use from becoming a legal minefield."

Duda also points out that Google was well aware of his work, and he even helped Google's staff implement ANS for video file compression.

The researcher now claims that Google is trying to patent some of the same concepts he shared with the company's engineers.

"The content of this patent application is a direct natural modification of a textbook way for encoding transform coefficients that represent image blocks in video/image compression," the researcher says. "This approach is well known."

[...] Google did not reply to a request for comment. The article will be updated with any official statement if the company decides to provide context for its patent application.

The mystery remains surrounding Google's decision to patent something that is in the public domain since 2014.

Original Submission


  1. "MrPlow" -
  2. "Original Submission" -

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printed from SoylentNews, Google Accused of Trying to Patent Public Domain Technology on 2018-05-22 23:23:09