Google’s WebM (VP8) allegedly infringes the rights of at least 12 patent holders

“In February I reported on MPEG LA’s call for submissions of patents deemed essential to the VP8 video codec, a key element of Google’s WebM initiative,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents, “I had already expressed doubts about Google’s claims of WebM/VP8 being unencumbered by third-party patents shortly after WebM was announced more than a year ago. The commercial issue here is that Google’s claims of WebM being ‘royalty-free’ would be reduced to absurdity the moment that any patent holder rightfully starts to collect royalties on it.”

“I just became aware of a new streamingmedia.com interview with MPEG LA. MPEG LA serves as a one-stop shop for licenses to AVC/H.264 and other multimedia codecs,” Mueller reports. “In that interview, MPEG LA stated affirmatively that there have been submissions relating to the February call, and disclosed, at a high level, a preliminary result of the vetting process that commenced subsequently to the submissions period: Thus far, 12 parties have been found to have patents essential to the VP8 standard.”

Mueller remarks, “12 parties — that’s really a high number, and it could even increase in the future.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
MPEG LA goes gunning for Google, announces call for patents essential to VP8 video codec – February 11, 2011
Along with Apple, Microsoft fully backs H.264, unlike Google – February 2, 2011
Google intent on derailing HTML5 H.264 video with WebM browser plugins for Safari, IE – January 15, 2011
Google pulls support for H.264 video out of Chrome web browser – January 11, 2011
Google’s VP8/WebM may face patent fight as Apple-backed MPEG-LA considers patent pool – May 21, 2010
Apple may be planning to sue Google over WebM video project, VP8 codec – May 20, 2010
Google’s big open video plan is called the WebM project…
Jobs: Ogg Theora may violate patents – Friday, April 30, 2010

13 Comments

    1. Just like how they made bold statements in favor of net neutrality.

      Then turned around and supported the telecom industry’s anti-neutrality stance.

      Google is just a company. They’ll say and do whatever is in their best financial interests at the time.

  1. More Innovation by Google hampered by those pesky patents, legal documents, and anti- innovation speed bumps cause by those greedy thinkers.

    Your info should be google, your devices be devulged, your thoughts ours, and your profit ours. What we (Google) makes is ours because someone has to innovate!

  2. Don’t get me wrong – I would prefer royalty-free standards for all critical functions. However, if a patent has to exist, I would much rather it be owned by Apple than Google or Microsoft of HTC or Samsung.

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