In the good old days the rule was that JPEG was free and GIF was not free. Today it seems like GIF is free while the freenes of JPEG is under fire. Forgent is trying to use an overly broad patent to assert patent rights on JPEG. Our unlikely champion in this case is Microsoft who is taking them to court trying to get the patent found invalid.
Feelings on the subject is mixed. As someone who is against software patents I have no love for people like Forgent who leech on the industry through patent blackmail. On the other hand if Forgent is sucessful in their lawsuit then it could help push PNG forward and also work as another wake up call for the world about the problems of software patents. I think Microsoft and its owner would ake up on the beauty of software patents if they are forced to shell out billions in the Eolas and Forgent cases.