14.09.2018 change 14.09.2018

USA/ Patent Office issued a non-final rejection of Google`s patent application for the idea of a scientist from the Jagiellonian University

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US Patent Office issued a non-final rejection of Google`s patent application concerning a solution developed by Dr. Jarosław Duda from the Jagiellonian University. The researcher and the Jagiellonian University demanded the withdrawal of Google`s application a year ago.

"US Patent Office issued a non-final rejection of Google`s patent application concerning ANS compression algorithm. Now Google can appeal the decision of the office. If they do, the matter may continue for years" - says Dr. Jarosław Duda.

Polish Google spokesman Adam Malczak asked about Google`s intentions regarding the non-final decision of the office, replied: "We are analysing this decision". He also emphasised that Google had already declared that they would like the possible patent to be available as an "open source codec".

"This (open source - ed. PAP) would mean that coding is free in Google`s software, but not necessarily in competing software" - explains Duda.

Google`s efforts to patent ANS compression algorithm have been criticized by the IT community, including the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) and FSE (Free Software Foundation).

ANS algorithm enables data compression in computers and other electronic devices. Currently, it is used in products of companies including Apple, Facebook, Google, Linux. "Virtually all users of computers and phones in the world use this Polish technique" - says Dr. Duda.

The lecturer at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of the Jagiellonian University developed the technique in the years 2006-2013. He made it available in scientific articles on an ongoing basis.

"I am a scientist. I have not patented this method because I believe that such basic concepts should be free and accessible to all" - the researcher says. He adds: "A year ago, when it was clear that Google was plagiarizing my solution, I thought they would stop applying for a patent. But as you can see, they kept trying. At this point, they should stop".

From 2014 Dr Jarosław Duda was in correspondence with Google - via email and through a public forum - and helped the company adapt ANS to compress video files. In June 2017 he accidentally found Google`s patent application from December 2015 for the use of ANS in video compression.

Another company tried to patent Dr. Duda`s solution in the UK in 2016. That attempt was partly successful. (PAP)

author: Beata Kołodziej

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