So two more mp3 patents expired just last month on the 24th. 2012 should actually be a big year for patents on the encoding technology, with four total due to expire. By Halloween we'll only have 12 left!
You always hear about how mp3 is a patent-encumbered technology, which causes lots of pain for anyone trying to make any tool that deals with audio data. But I rarely hear specifics. Since the technology is pretty old at this point, I started wondering if we're getting to the point where the patents will just expire, and it goes the way of the .gif?
A little searching leads you to this page, listing the 20 patents registered in the U.S. I wanted to get a sense of the timeline we're looking at, so I put together a simple visualization. Looking forward to 2017!