MPEG-LA Gearing Up To Go Patent Nuclear On Google's Decision To Release Open Video Standard
from the get-the-lawyers-ready dept
It’s no secret that MPEG-LA, the private company that handles patent pools for a variety of digital video standards, including the widely used H.264 — and recently began dabbling in patent trolling, has suggested that there can be no digital video without licensing patents from its patent pools. And, of course, there were just rumors (kicked off by a Steve Jobs email), that MPEG-LA was gearing up to sue any “open” video standard out of existence. Well, that whole story got a bit more complex this week when Google announced its plans to open up its VP8 video codec, and make it royalty free, under the WebM name.
Of course, you didn’t think that MPEG-LA would take that calmly, did you? MPEG-LA’s boss claims he’s working to create a patent pool around VP8… meaning that what Google insists is now royalty free, might not end up being royalty free if MPEG-LA has its way. Of course, the good news here is that you now have Google’s cash around to back up any potential patent fight, but it may take years (and years and years) before any resolution comes of it. And, in the end, for MPEG-LA, that might be the real goal. If it can just create enough uncertainty around VP8 through patent threats and lawsuits (even if it loses), it might hope that it can retain its hold on the market with H.264.