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21 May 2010, 11:31

Report: MPEG LA planning patent pool for VP8

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The MPEG LA patent pool consortium, responsible for licensing the H.264 video codec and other MPEG technology, may be planning a patent pool for patents related to the recently open sourced VP8 video codec. According to a report in All Things Digital, Larry Horn, CEO of MPEG LA said that the consortium had seen "expressions of interest from the market" that prompts the creation a pool of "essential patent rights for VP8 as well as other codecs".

Horn says that MPEG LA is now looking at that possibility. If a patent pool was to be formed, the move could be a blow to Google's WebM project, launched at Google I/O this week, which used the VP8 video codec from the company's recent acquisition, On2, as the basis for a royalty free and open source web video format. Google says that it had done a thorough analysis of VP8 prior to acquiring On2 and on that basis was confident enough to open source the code.

MPEG LA pools the hundreds of patents which apply to standards like H.264 and offers a simple, single licence for publishers, hardware manufacturers and software makers. The MPEG LA pool for H.264PDF, for example, contains patents from Dolby, Daewoo, Hitachi, Philips, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, NTT DOCOMO, Panasonic, Bosch, Samsung, Sharp, Apple and others.


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