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For the curious, a quick search yields claims of 2025 and 2028 as the last patent expiration date. This announcement shouldn't please anyone.

How can that be if the standard was ratified in 2003?

Perhaps some of the patents cover optimizations that don't affect the bitstream format. Or maybe they're just bogus patents.

Some of the patents may have been applied for, but not granted until after ratification.

For patents filed after 1995 the patent term is based on the filing date of the application, not the date the patent is granted.

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