When Jarek Duda invented an important new compression technique called asymmetric numeral systems (ANS) a few years ago, he wanted to make sure it would be available for anyone to use. So instead of seeking patents on the technique, he dedicated it to the public domain. Since 2014, Facebook, Apple, and Google have all created software based on Duda's breakthrough.
But now Google is seeking a patent that would give it broad rights over the use of ANS for video compression. And Duda, a computer scientist at Jagiellonian University in Poland, isn't happy about it.