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Technology & Telecommunications

March 28, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Compton's Loses Multimedia Patent Bid: Carlsbad-based Compton's New Media, a unit of the Tribune Co., lost the first round in a patent battle when the U.S. Patent Office rejected its claims to a broad multimedia patent last week. Dozens of large and small software companies, including Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner Inc., have contested Compton's claim to control the patent for the retrieval of text, photo, audio, animation and video information from multimedia databases--a basic piece of technology incorporated in nearly all CD-ROM products. The impact of the patent could apply to developing technologies such as interactive television and on-line information services as well. Compton's and Encyclopedia Brittanica, which jointly own the patent, have two months to appeal the decision.

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