Office of Research and Technology Applications,
Naval Postgraduate School,
Research and Sponsored Programs Office,
NPS Code 41, 699 Dyer Road, Bldg. HA, Room 226,
Ms. Deborah Buettner, Director,
Research and Sponsored Programs Office,
Dear Deborah Beuttner,
We object to the grant of an exclusive license to Vedevo, Inc. from Capitola California, for U.S. patent 8,526,746, as noticed in the Federal Register 83 FR 62311.
U.S. Patent No. 8,526,746 was issued September 3, 2013, and titled “NEAR-LOSSLESS DATA COMPRESSION METHOD USING NONUNIFORM SAMPLING.”
According to the FR notice, the Department of the Navy intends to grant an exclusive license to this patent in the following 10 fields of use:
- the field of use of data compression method for use in still images,
- in the field of use of data compression method for use in video streaming,
- in the field of use of data compression method for use in digital signal processing,
- in the field of use of data compression method for use in computer graphics,
- in the field of use of data compression method for use in video games,
- in the field of use of data compression method for use in virtual reality,
- in the field of use of data compression method for use in medical imaging & diagnostics,
- in the field of use of data compression method for use in data storage,
- in the field of use of data compression method for use in security systems, and
- in the field of use of data compression method for use in numerical methods.
We can find no web page or other information for a company named Vedevo. The Notice failed to provide any information about the company seeking a monopoly on the invention. For example, we don’t know if the company plans to make services or software available, or simply sue people who do.
Data compression can be implemented via software and there is no obvious reason why patents on data compression should be licensed on an exclusive basis, particularly since standards are often important for broadening the platform and making a technology more useful and socially valuable.
We are concerned that the owners of Vedevo Inc. will use the Navy patents to sue others who infringe the inventions. These type of lawsuits harm innovation, and restrictively licensed technologies for data compression can harm competition.
KEI asks the Navy if the Navy has complied with 40 USC §559, regarding the requirement to request the Advice of Attorney General with respect to antitrust law?
The grant of an exclusive license to data compression technologies present serious issues regarding the impact of an exclusive license on competition.
KEI is itself involved in producing, using and sharing streamed video. James Love is also an assistant producer for the film Drug$, which is streamed on multiple platforms.
Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009
§559. Advice of Attorney General with respect to antitrust law
(a) Definition.—In this section, the term “antitrust law” includes—
(1) the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. 1 et seq.);
(2) the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 12 et seq., 29 U.S.C. 52, 53);
(3) the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.); and
(4) sections 73 and 74 of the Wilson Tariff Act (15 U.S.C. 8, 9).
(b) Advice Required.—
(1) In general.—An executive agency shall not dispose of property to a private interest until the agency has received the advice of the Attorney General on whether the disposal to a private interest would tend to create or maintain a situation inconsistent with antitrust law.
(2) Exception.—This section does not apply to disposal of—
(A) real property, if the estimated fair market value is less than $3,000,000; or
(B) personal property (other than a patent, process, technique, or invention), if the estimated fair market value is less than $3,000,000.
(c) Notice to Attorney General.—
(1) In general.—An executive agency that contemplates disposing of property to a private interest shall promptly transmit notice of the proposed disposal, including probable terms and conditions, to the Attorney General.
(2) Copy.—Except for the General Services Administration, an executive agency that transmits notice under paragraph (1) shall simultaneously transmit a copy of the notice to the Administrator of General Services.
(d) Advice From Attorney General.—Within a reasonable time, not later than 60 days, after receipt of notice under subsection (c), the Attorney General shall advise the Administrator and any interested executive agency whether, so far as the Attorney General can determine, the proposed disposition would tend to create or maintain a situation inconsistent with antitrust law.
(e) Request for Information.—On request from the Attorney General, the head of an executive agency shall furnish information the agency possesses that the Attorney General determines is appropriate or necessary to—
(1) give advice required by this section; or
(2) determine whether any other disposition or proposed disposition of surplus property violates antitrust law.
(f) No Effect on Antitrust Law.—This subtitle does not impair, amend, or modify antitrust law or limit or prevent application of antitrust law to a person acquiring property under this subtitle.
(Pub. L. 107–217, Aug. 21, 2002, 116 Stat. 1103.)