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Feb/11

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MPEG-LA starts patent move on VP8 [Updated]

MPEG-LA starts patent move on VP8 http://tinyurl.com/6eqphma

One of the things that has worried me about VP8/WebM is that Google has refused to indemnify users from patent issues. To me that’s a huge worry, and now MPEG-LA has started the process of establishing whether or not VP8 does (or does not) infringe any of its members’ patents.

MPEG LA had this to say yesterday:

In order to participate in the creation of, and determine licensing terms for, a joint VP8 patent license, any party that believes it has patents that are essential to the VP8 video codec specification is invited to submit them for a determination of their essentiality by MPEG LA’s patent evaluators. At least one essential patent is necessary to participate in the process, and initial submissions should be made by March 18, 2011.

Just a few weeks ago, MPEG LA also made it clear which way it thinks th VP8 patent wind blows.

Updated: Two links on the potential problems with VP8:

Google’s Patent problem (It’s even bigger than you think) by Rob Glidden from May 2010.

Royalty Free MPEG Codec ups the ante for Google’s WebM/VP8 by Florian Muller published in The Guardian today.  First I was aware of a move by MPEG (not MPEG-LA, they are different bodies) to create a royalty free codec.

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2 comments

  • Steve Oakley · February 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    does anyone remember the SCO / linux patent lawsuits ? it turned out to be all smoke and mirrors on SCO”s part to try to scare people into handing them checks. In the end, it was shown they in fact didn’t own the code / patents they claimed were being infringed on. This reeks of more of the same.

  • Admin comment by Philip · February 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Hardly parallel examples. SCO was primarily funded by Microsoft via 3rd parties and never had a claim.

    Most independent experts who’ve looked at the VP8 code have found direct copies of H.264 code. That may not be infringing but it sure looks like it could be.

    this is not an a comparable action at all.

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