Google admits its WebM (VP8) codec infringes MPEG H.264 patents; agrees to license technology

“Almost three years after Google released its WebM video encoding technology as a ‘free’ and open alternative to the existing H.264 backed by Apple and others, it has admitted its position was wrong and that it would pay to license the patents WebM infringes,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“After years of legal maneuvering, Google has now agreed to license the H.264 patents that WebM infringes,” Dilger reports. “‘This is a significant milestone in Google’s efforts to establish VP8 as a widely-deployed web video format,’ said Allen Lo, Google’s deputy general counsel for patents in a press release. ‘We appreciate MPEG LA’s cooperation in making this happen.'”

Dilger reports, “However, WebM faces serious other problems apart from its patent infringement. The legal quandary Google erected by failing to properly license MPEG’s technology from the start means that it hasn’t seen any significant traction from third parties, preventing any of these issues (including a lack of hardware decoder support) from actually being addressed over the past three years. ”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Steve” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Google’s WebM (VP8) allegedly infringes the rights of at least 12 patent holders – July 29, 2011
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


  1. BREAKING NEWS: Google says they stole/copied iOS.

    And in other NEWS, Google admits they stole Java Code from Oracle.

    And in other, other NEWS, Google says they inadvertently stole wifi passwords while their vans drove past.

    And in other, other, other news, Google says they inadvertently re-enabled tracking in Safari.

    1. + 2000

      They were behind the curve… to speed up the race Google had to cut corners and result was to steal. The penalty should be that Android is closed down permanently.

  2. Google needs to see the full punishment of the law, regardless of their Johnny too late admissions. Irrepereable harm has been deliberately perpetuated and no sorry or addmission can just glossnover this.

    Google is an evil demogogic company that thinks ( and tells it’s employees so) that it s smarter than everyone and can wiggle it’s way out of every tortuous situation by pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes with obfusction.

    No more Molehead – time to pay the pipers.

    1. If you’re talking about WebM and G.264, what was the irreparable harm to H.264? WebM didn’t really take any noticeable market share.
      If you’re talking about other things, the “full punishment of the law” is however far the companies whose IP Google infringed want to push it in court. In most cases, the companies will probably prefer to settle at some point to save time/expense and for a more certain outcome than a judge/jury’s decision.

  3. Yes, Google. Own up to infringing MPEG 4 Part 10 (aka H.264, it’s not MPEG H.264) patents and go with a full H.264 implementation.

    It’s just in time for the rest of us to move to the more efficient, newer H.265 compression algorithms!

    Sorry, Google. You’re a day late and several dollars short!

  4. Google… has admitted its position was wrong and that it would pay to license the patents WebM infringes.

    In other news, hell froze over!

    So Google, how about admitting that you substantially ripped off Apple and Oracle in your renditions of Android?! Or was that perpetration too evil for you to own up to? WebM (VP8), who cares. It was dead tech out of the gate, no substantial damages to be paid. But ANDROID! Now THERE are some fracking HUGE damages to be paid!!! Eh?!

    Evil evil evil. 👿

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