Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 31st Jul 2011 21:27 UTC, submitted by kristoph
Multimedia, AV Ah yes, the MPEG-LA, the company that patent-trolled before it was cool (now every schmuck like Apple and Microsoft do it too). Remember how they once called for companies to step if they had any patents Google's VP8 might be infringing upon? After almost a decade of empty threats against Theora, the MPEG-LA finally started actually doing something. Now they claim (in an interview with streamingmedia.com) twelve companies have stepped up - but, in true MPEG-LA fashion, which patents VP8 supposedly infringes upon remains shrouded in mystery.
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Empty threats
by WorknMan on Mon 1st Aug 2011 00:49 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

If we're going to have software patents, I think it should be required for a patent holder to name the actual patents in question when they start making threats. For example, 'you're violating our patents, but we're not gonna tell you which ones' is just BS.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Empty threats
by galvanash on Mon 1st Aug 2011 03:43 in reply to "Empty threats"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Thats just it though... MPEGLA doesn't own any patents and thusly can't actually sue anyone for patent infringement... They simply manage a patent pool -there job is not to sue infringers, it is to sell them licenses. As such, they can get away with saying pretty much anything they want. In the end it is all empty threats. They themselves have no teeth, their job is to bark.

Until a patent holder steps forward we should just ignore all the yelping...

Edited 2011-08-01 03:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Empty threats
by Carewolf on Mon 1st Aug 2011 10:11 in reply to "RE: Empty threats"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

I thought MPEG-LA's job was also to "bite". They have the right and obligation to collect license fees on behalf of their members. So if the patents are entrusted to them, they should be able to sue.. So why don't they?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Empty threats
by Icaria on Mon 1st Aug 2011 08:17 in reply to "Empty threats"
Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

How is this different from any other FUD or PR manoeuvring? Companies talk shit all the time, why should they be exempt from talking shit about patent portfolios?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Empty threats
by MollyC on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 02:08 in reply to "Empty threats"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

My understanding is that patent holders do tell those to whom they make threats which patents are at issue. But they do it under NDA. If they actually go to court, then they publicly disclose which patents are at issue.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that Google knows that they infringe patents right and left, and knows which ones. Which is why they don't indemnify any of their clients.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Empty threats
by lemur2 on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 03:45 in reply to "RE: Empty threats"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

My understanding is that patent holders do tell those to whom they make threats which patents are at issue. But they do it under NDA.


An NDA is a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Note the operative word, "agreement".

Patent Troll: "You stole my idea"!

Patent Troll: "I am threatening you with a lot of trouble".

Troll's victim: "What idea is that"?

Patent Troll: "I am not going to tell you unless you agree to tell no-one else".

Troll's victim: "Why should I agree to that"?

Troll's victim: "Since you can't say what the alleged idea was, go away you silly person."

Reply Parent Score: 3