Old-school GPU blur technique is patented

category: code [glöplog]
Unless I miss some important detail it seems the old-style approach for (zoom-)bluring images by shifting UV-texcoords (and then averaging via blend ops) was actually patented in ~2001:
http://www.google.com/patents/US6925210 (by Michael Herf, no clue if it's the stereopsis guy).

For example, the crashzoom in Kasparov/Elitegroup (1999) was done like this (explained in the assembly 2013 seminar by chaos/farbrausch.

And I guess many other early gl/d3d demos used the same technique.

There's also an old NVidia presentation by Mark Harris describing the technique here. Unfortunately, there is no date given, so no idea if it predates the patent.

Anyone has some idea of other materials that could potentially prove as prior art?
added on the 2014-11-03 12:50:39 by arm1n arm1n
yet another example of software patents being silly.
added on the 2014-11-03 13:12:07 by psenough psenough
hi, let's patent putting butter on bread by using a knife and a forward stroke motion.

yes, forward-stroke motion.
added on the 2014-11-03 13:13:59 by farfar farfar
yet another example of software patents being silly.

Second that, even not being a coder.
For me it is like patenting a way one pixels a nice blur effect...
added on the 2014-11-03 13:27:15 by sim sim
I will patent plasmas!
added on the 2014-11-03 15:43:39 by Optimus Optimus
and me a solid color screen... with and without a border color ;-)
added on the 2014-11-03 16:41:43 by F-Cycles F-Cycles
i'll patent patents! inception bitch!
added on the 2014-11-03 16:44:09 by Maali Maali
oh no i was just going to implement that :(
added on the 2014-11-03 17:19:57 by msqrt msqrt
This is a good example of everything that's wrong with software patents. It's too simple, too obvious, and there's likely a ton of prior art (didn't final reality do rotation blur the same way too?)

But hey, that's good news - if somebody sues you over your next demo using this, you can get the patent invalidated :)

Yeah. If you can afford it. If you can afford to actually go to court and defend yourself. I looked into this a few years back, and in the US (where most of the suing happens) you're looking at $50k+ just to turn up at court. To get the patent invalidated you'll need a few million.

So there's the problem with it all: the patent office allows stuff that shouldn't have been allowed, and some anonymous company can use it to sue you, and unless you're a millionaire you can't afford to defend yourself so you lose by default and they take your home/car/business. It's a legal form of mugging.
added on the 2014-11-03 22:54:39 by psonice psonice
oh fuck, if we can't blurs what will we DO?!???!
added on the 2014-11-03 23:22:36 by ferris ferris
oh fuck, if we can't blurs what will we DO?!???!

I know it's sarcasm, but anyways: You can still have your blurs. I doubt someone will/can sue you for using a patented technique in a non-commercial demo (people were using the patented marching cubes algo for metaballs since ages). Second, on nowadays shader GPUs a blur is usually implement by sampling multiple times from the _same_ texture at different offsets (which basically is the same method, but is not using copies of the texture) - this might be different enough to be not covered by the patent.
added on the 2014-11-04 09:07:24 by arm1n arm1n
I'm using that blur-technique in this prod. Along with Marching Cubes...
Have not been sued yet :)
I can't really trace it back to when I first implemented the blur technique, but it could have been pre-2001. I know I implemented it on a GeForce2 GTS, which was my first multitexture card. That card is pre-2001, so, who knows :)
added on the 2014-11-04 09:16:40 by Scali Scali
I will patent cubes! -> The scene is dead! :)
added on the 2014-11-04 09:18:55 by gaspode gaspode
Along with Marching Cubes...

FYI that patent expired in 2005.
added on the 2014-11-04 11:49:35 by absence absence
FYI that patent expired in 2005.

Yup, I know.
But I have also used it in pre-2005 prods, as many sceners have :)
added on the 2014-11-04 12:21:35 by Scali Scali
Patents like that make me want to find whoever made those up and whoever approved them and kick them really hard between their legs.
added on the 2014-11-04 20:03:09 by TomoAlien TomoAlien
right in the meta-balls, so to speak...
added on the 2014-11-05 06:55:44 by bloodnok bloodnok
Don't let corporations have the same rights as humans, this will solve most of the problems.
JSYK: environment maps projected onto objects (=simple reflection hack) are also patented.
so no more shiny spike balls for you!
added on the 2014-11-05 11:58:38 by toxie toxie
Balls of Steel!
added on the 2014-11-05 12:41:52 by Optimus Optimus
added on the 2014-11-03 12:50:39 by spike spike
yet another example of software patents being silly.

ALL patents are silly.
added on the 2014-11-06 13:18:58 by Gertrude Gertrude