Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st May 2010 06:49 UTC
Legal Let the spreading of FUD begin! Known patent troll Larry Horn, CEO of MPEG-LA, is clearly feeling the heat - a heat that might set fire to his company's license to print money. After a decade of empty threats towards Theora, the company is apparently putting its it's-impossible-to-create-a-video-codec-that-doesn't-infringe-on-our-stuff attitude into practice once again, by assembling a patent pool to go after VP8. Google, in the meantime, is not impressed.
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MissTJones
Member since:
2010-03-25

Your half-right, but also very wrong.

The MPEG-LA is best known for creating patent pools for standards e.g. the MPEG codecs, but also Firewire and other royalty-bearing industry standards.

In those cases you're right, they don't own the patents, they just get all the patent holders together to bash out terms acceptable to them all and (hopefully) the market. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail (notable failures include MPEG-4 part 2 which caused Apple to refuse to release the newer version of Quicktime using the codecs until the licence terms were changed and never caught on in the web leaving the market open for Flash and On2's VP6 codec, and Firewire which prompted Dell, HP etc to get together to promote the royalty free USB2 instead).

But, in just the last few months, the MPEG-LA has created a shell company called MobileMedia that actually owns some patents and is suing Apple, HTC and RIM over them. There's a story about it here:

http://www.osnews.com/story/23258/MPEG-LA-owned_Patent_Troll_Sues_S...

You might recognize that link, because it the very first one given in this article.

Edited 2010-05-21 11:59 UTC

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