Apple and others are in the doghouse as Forgent subsidiary Compression Labs accuses many of abusing its patented image compression technology. The case against the Cupertino company took another step forward last night.

Compression Labs owns USW Patent Number 4,698,672 (known as the '672 Patent). This patent covers technologies used in JPEG image compression.

Other fields of use include any digital still-image device used to compress, store, manipulate, print or transmit digital still images. It also extends to include many digital-stills devices, such as PDAs, mobile phones, printers, scanners and other devices used to compress, store, manipulate, print or transmit digital still images.

Following a case management hearing yesterday, Judge Jeremy Fogel reconfirmed a Markman hearing on claim construction for February 13, 2006.

The Court also added Microsoft to the claim, which already names over 40 major companies from the IT sector, including: Canon, Creo, Creative Labs, HP, JVC, Toshiba, Yahoo! and Xerox.