The ongoing litigation between Forgent subsidiary Compression Labs and Apple and others has finally moved forward a step.

The US District Court for the Northern District of California has set a revised date for a Markman hearing on claim construction: March 9.

Compression Labs accuses many other companies of abusing its patented (Patent Number 4,698,672, aka the '672' patent) image compression technology, which covers elements of the industry-standard JPEG format.

Forgent's intellectual property program has made more than $105 million in licensing revenues to companies across the world.

The patent covers JPEG use in 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.

More than 40 IT firms have been named in the suit, including Apple, Microsoft, Canon, Creo, Creative Labs, HP, JVC, Toshiba, Yahoo!, and Xerox.