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Is SURF algorithm used in OPENCV patented?

asked 2013-08-06 00:18:08 -0500

robertzheng gravatar image

updated 2013-08-06 02:24:57 -0500

Is SURF algorithm used in OPENCV patented? Can it be included in commercial product?


1.SURF is not free.BRISK or FREAK is good alternative. Thanks to Notas!

2.SURF patent holder: Thanks to Steven Puttemans!

3.Only 2 nonfree module is patented: SIFT & SURF Thanks to Steven Puttemans again!

Hi, Notas & Steven, I will buy you an impressive Chinese meal when you come to Beijing! Welcome~

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I will hold you to that!

StevenPuttemans gravatar imageStevenPuttemans ( 2013-08-06 02:49:44 -0500 )edit

Just email me the date you come.

robertzheng gravatar imagerobertzheng ( 2013-08-06 03:06:36 -0500 )edit

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answered 2013-08-06 01:29:55 -0500

Notas gravatar image

Yes it is patented, that's why it's in the nonfree module. To use it commercially, you have to contact the patent holders.

To be honest, I don't understand why everyone still uses SIFT/SURF when there are better alternatives in OpenCV (BRISK or FREAK for example).

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Thank you very much! Would you please help on the following 2 questions: 1) Is there a list for me to contact with patent holders involved in OpenCV? 2) How can I identify free & non-free module?

robertzheng gravatar imagerobertzheng ( 2013-08-06 01:41:57 -0500 )edit Is this the answer to my 2nd question? Only 2 non-free modules in OpenCV?

robertzheng gravatar imagerobertzheng ( 2013-08-06 01:58:41 -0500 )edit

For contacting the SURF owners, go to this website : And yes, only the nonfree module is patented, all the other functionality can be used.

StevenPuttemans gravatar imageStevenPuttemans ( 2013-08-06 02:13:06 -0500 )edit

Is this still in effect? The reason I ask is because in the beta, there isn't any non-free module? So would the application of these algorithms commercially be permitted now?

Potato gravatar imagePotato ( 2015-02-20 14:47:31 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2013-08-06 00:18:08 -0500

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Last updated: Aug 06 '13