Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 16th May 2010 12:52 UTC, submitted by mrsteveman1
Internet & Networking Mozilla, sticking to its ideals of the open web, decided long ago that support for the patent-encumbered H264 codec would not be included in any of its products. Not only is H264 wholly incompatible with the open web and Free software, it is also incredibly expensive. Mozilla could use one of the open source implementations, but those are not licensed, and the MPEG-LA has been quite clear in that it will sue those who encode or decode H264 content without a license. Software patents, however, are only valid in some parts of the world, so an enterprising developer has started a project that was sure to come eventually: Firefox builds with H264 support.
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RE: Comment by rirmak
by lemur2 on Wed 19th May 2010 02:43 UTC in reply to "Comment by rirmak"
Member since:

Certainly an excellent quick fix to the problem of trivial patents is to make patent applications prohibitively expensive to increase selectivity.

An even better solution is to adopt the European Patent Convention, and simply exclude certain things as being unsuitable subject matter for patents:

The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions within the meaning of paragraph 1:
(a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
(b) aesthetic creations;
(c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;
(d) presentations of information.

My bold.

This approach pretty much solves the problem of patent trolls straight away.

For example: H.264 would not be patentable as a software codec because it would a program for a computer, and it would also not be patentable as a hardware-embedded decoder on video cards because it is a mathematical method.

Problem solved.

Edited 2010-05-19 02:49 UTC

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