Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Mar 2013 21:09 UTC
Legal Late last week, Nokia dropped what many consider to be a bomb on the WebM project: a list of patents that VP8 supposedly infringes in the form of an IETF IPR declaration. The list has made the rounds around the web, often reported as proof that VP8 infringes upon Nokia's patents. All this stuff rang a bell. Haven't we been here before? Yup, we have, with another open source codec called Opus. Qualcomm and Huawei made the same claims as Nokia did, but they turned out to be complete bogus. As it turns out, this is standard practice in the dirty business of the patent licensing industry.
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RE: This is actually good
by lemur2 on Tue 26th Mar 2013 08:05 UTC in reply to "This is actually good"
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When these kind of claims occur, I actually find the end results productive, instead of looking at the painful process. After all is said and done, if (and hopefully when) the codec comes clean, IETF will have legal grounds to claim the codec is indeed patent free.

If Nokia really wins, we can still find something else. It will be a slight setback, but not a significant loss.

Basically, I prefer an open battle to sneaky shenanigans like the GIF/LZW patents back in the day.

It is not good. Google did a very thorough patent examination of VP8 before they bought On2, and that examination revealed that On2 had done their work well, and had avoided other patents.

The first troll claiming patents that read upon VP8 (MPEG LA) has fallen by the wayside, granting Google permission to continue to offer VP8 royalty free to everybody (even downstream re-implementers) for a small once-of fee that is merely a pay-off to avoid the costs of a trial.

Google's original assessment of VP8 patent status withstood that first challenge.

Now comes the second challenger to VP8, with even weaker-sounding claims. This will, no doubt, do great harm to Nokia's rapidly deteriorating public image, and it may end up costing Nokia as much to attack Google (and fail) as it did for Oracle before them.

Who loses out of this?

Google: court costs in defending their VP8 IP.
Public: No codec for WebRTC, a W3C API definition to enable browser-to-browser voice calling.
Nokia: court costs, complete loss of any remaining goodwill, crashing share price.

Who wins?

Lawyers: fees.
Skype: no competition from browser-to-browser voice calling.


Edited 2013-03-26 08:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6