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Nokia Officially Lists Patents Google's VP8 Allegedly Infringes

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the broken-system-is-broken dept.

Google 180

An anonymous reader writes "Google just settled video codec patent claims with MPEG LA and its VP8 format, which it wants to be elevated to an Internet standard, already faces the next round of patent infringement allegations. Nokia submitted an IPR declaration to the Internet Engineering Task Force listing 64 issued patents and 22 pending patent applications it believes are essential to VP8. To add insult to injury, Nokia's declaration to the IETF says NO to royalty-free licensing and also NO to FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing. Nokia reserves the right to sue over VP8 and to seek sales bans without necessarily negotiating a license deal. Two of the 86 declared IPRs are already being asserted in Mannheim, Germany, where Nokia is suing HTC in numerous patent infringement cases. A first VP8-related trial took place on March 8 and the next one is scheduled for June 14. In related Nokia-Google patent news, the Finns are trying to obtain a U.S. import ban against HTC to force it to disable tethering (or, more likely, to pay up)."

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I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43259791)

Maybe then, the US Congress will finally take notice and do something serious about patent reform.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (2)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259893)

The winning strategy has never been to list the patents up front. As long as they do that, people will now go about invalidating them. VP8 was already designed to work around patent restricions - one of the few software projects to take that strategy.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (5, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259989)

The winning strategy has never been to list the patents up front.

Well, the FUD strategy has been to never list the patents. If you actually do have patents there is no good reason not to list them. One of the big problems with software patents is exactly that they can be so broad that working around them is actually impossible.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260569)

This is still a FUD-filled article.

If you look at the list, the 86 patents turn out to be just a few basic concepts, with each patent obtained in multiple jurisdictions.

It appears Florian Muller is preparing to resume his old SCO role as Microsoft-sponsored pundit.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261487)

Ozmanjusri, you're in serious danger of earning the coveted "+5 Troll" /. achievement. This is a Holy Grail I have aspired to for 10 years and more. I certainly hope some few folks with mod points give you "underrated" to put it over for you.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (1, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260377)

VP8 was already designed to work around patent restricions

Anyone who follows codecs will know that VP8 is extremely similar to H.264 baseline [multimedia.cx] , enough that patent infringement is an almost certainty. As much as we wish that wasn't true, it is. Their "work around" was to give identical technologies different names and put their fingers into their ears screaming "LA LA LA LA LA" denying any patent infringement. When they realized this wasn't going to work, Google finally licensed the patents from MPEG LA.

The more interesting (though not entirely surprising) bit from this news is that MPEG LA might not actually own all the patents required for H.264 to work.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260439)

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what MPEG LA is and isn't. They're a patent pool. They don't own any patents themselves, they just make it simple to license out a large basket of many (but not all) H.264 patents (one of the conditions is that you also put your own H.264 patents into the pool). You could go out and negotiate patent licenses from the original holders if so inclined.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (-1, Troll)

fsterman (519061) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260473)

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what MPEG LA is and isn't. They're a patent pool. They don't own any patents themselves, they just make it simple to license out a large basket of many (but not all) H.264 patents (one of the conditions is that you also put your own H.264 patents into the pool). You could go out and negotiate patent licenses from the original holders if so inclined.

So they are a convenience method for patent trolls. The older, craggier, the Troll, have enough to sue on their own.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (5, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260703)

patent infringement is an almost certainty.

I'm not a lawyer, but I think I am "anyone who follows codecs" and I'm not as sure of this as you are.

A lot of patents are very narrow. Many of the famous software patents, like One-Click, are disturbingly broad, but many of the patents related to video compression are narrow. The VP8 strategy, as I understand it, was to study the patents and make sure that everything in VP8 was just different enough that it doesn't infringe.

This means that VP8 is an inferior codec compared to H.264; some of the patented techniques really are better. However, it should be a "good enough" codec for most purposes.

Their "work around" was to give identical technologies different names and put their fingers into their ears screaming "LA LA LA LA LA" denying any patent infringement.

-1, flamebait.

When they realized this wasn't going to work, Google finally licensed the patents from MPEG LA.

I don't purport to have a secret pipeline into Google management and be able to tell what they were thinking. Do you have such a secret pipeline?

An equally workable summary is: Google had an opportunity to throw a few dollars at MPEG-LA and end the FUD forever, and they did so. Even if Google was convinced they could win on the merits in court, it was worth something to just make the problems vanish.

Note that Google specifically has not agreed that there was any patent infringement:

"This agreement is not an acknowledgment that the licensed techniques read on VP8. The purpose of this agreement is meant to provide further and stronger reassurance to implementors of VP8," said Google executive Serge Lachapelle in a post on a forum.

Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2030241/google-licenses-video-codec-from-mpeg-la-to-bolster-vp8.html [pcworld.com]

P.S. I am somewhat bemused by your tone. It seems you are eager to see VP8 get shackled by patents... why is that? Are you so certain that Google is a bad actor here that you just want to see Google get punished? Or do you hate freedom, or what exactly?

Please for one moment stipulate that VP8 contains technologies that are just enough different from the patents that they don't infringe... would you still have a problem with VP8 in that case?

MPEG-LA has claimed that it is impossible to make a video codec without infringing patents, because all the fundamental technologies are patented... is this, in your opinion, a good situation?

I'm personally cheering for Google in all this. They spent over $100 million to buy On2, just so they could set VP8 free. As far as I can tell, they did this for two reasons:

  • So they could ensure that their costs would not skyrocket on YouTube. They weren't looking forward to choosing between paying possibly-ruinous patent royalties, or using lame video codecs and burning far too much bandwidth.
  • To help keep us all a bit more free. Lots of the people who work at Google are geeks like us and value freedom as we do.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260807)

The fact that you are 'cheering' is irrelevant and speaks to the 'LaLala' bit in the upper threads. Anyone with any knowledge of MPEG basics could see this coming, which is why the industry avoided VP8 like the plague. The fact that Google licensed these is just an acknowledgement that their case wasn't strong enough.

The basics of MPEG motion encoding is pretty much a settled tech, and VP8 didn't offer anything 'new' in that arena, but used those same basic technologies.

This was inevitable. Is it a blow for freedom? I don't think so in this case. It was never free to begin with. It was already patented.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43261019)

The fact that Google licensed these is just an acknowledgement that their case wasn't strong enough.

I thought it was because MPEG-LA said that it is "impossible" to create a video codec that won't infringe on at least one patent in their pool. That's it, video codecs can never get better because every possible codec is already patented.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260869)

Hur dur Google apologist out in force.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43261315)

...

Or do you hate freedom, or what exactly?

I couldn't read past this point without wondering... when did you stop beating your wife?

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (3, Interesting)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260757)

The more interesting (though not entirely surprising) bit from this news is that MPEG LA might not actually own all the patents required for H.264 to work.

In which case it might be in MPEG LA's interest to work to invalidate the patents.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43259907)

The status quo wouldn't be affected by this, so probably no.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260519)

of course its just a Microft shill bashing Google.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (1)

crizh (257304) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260241)

What is it going to take for Google to get its finger out and buy Nokia already.

If they can't afford it I'm sure Samsung, HTC et al will chip in. With Nokia's patent portfolio they could bitchslap Apple/M$ but good.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260495)

Microsoft is pulling Nokia's strings. They're the MS attack team's heir apparent to SCO.

This one will play out over as many years as the SCO FUD machine did.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (2, Insightful)

isdnip (49656) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260777)

Sad but apparently true. Microsoftie Steven Elop took over the reins at Nokia a couple of years ago, abandoned their Linux plans and other OSs, and declared that the company would stake its future on Windows Phone. Which Nokia now makes, not that it's a big hit. So the struggling company will happily swim in Microsoft's spit as it hopes to rely on them for a lifeline.

It won't work in the long term either. Microsoft has no strategic partners, only strategic victims.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (0, Troll)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261207)

It won't work in the long term either. Microsoft has no strategic partners, only strategic victims.

Except for Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Samsung, HP who made and continue to make tens of billions by being Microsoft's partners. Stop this revisionist simplistic nonsense, please.

Re:I hope Nokia's lawyers wreaks havoc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43261285)

And Microsoft just back stabbed all his 'partners' by making his own laptop hardware and undercut all manufacturers that has to pay the Microsoft tax to get an OS on their machine. Partnership with Microsoft is stupid. What ever you do, software or hardware, if you ever become successful they going to clone you for cheaper. DON'T DO THEIR RESEARCH FOR FREE. If you are wise enough to develop long-term get your customer on Linux and build your product around free software. Not only you become free of Microsoft corruption but your product end up been cheaper and more competitive.

A change of business model for Nokia? (3, Interesting)

digitig (1056110) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259813)

The making-and-selling-mobile-phones business model hasn't been working so well for Nokia of late. so maybe they're switching to SCO's business model.

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43259917)

"What Nokia is doing here is simply the normal course of business if a patent holder (Nokia) does not share the vision of another company (Google) with respect to a proposed standard and reserves all rights. What motivation could Nokia possibly have to donate something to a Google initiative? None. No motivation, no obligation, no license. Simple as that"

quoted from http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/03/setback-for-googles-vp8-nokia-refuses.html

Hey Florian! (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260169)

How is consulting for Microsoft and Oracle working out?

Re:Hey Florian! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43261191)

Actually, I'm just any reader who didn't bother to create an account to post a comment

Re:Hey Florian! (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261453)

Yeah sure. And I'm Niklaus Wirth.

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261245)

They could collect license fees on what looks to be the big new video format. They have plenty of motivation, so I can only assume there is some reason they want to scupper it.

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (2, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259993)

Yuck. Kinda makes you wonder how many other companies MS will puppet in the same way before they go under.

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (0)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261183)

Yuck. Kinda makes you wonder how many other companies MS will puppet in the same way before they go under.

Before they go under? What? Looks like Slashdot has it's own version of reality.

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (3, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261539)

Well, first, I'd think decades, surely, giving MS ample time to screw around; and second, I meant before the puppet companies go under. Caldera/SCO had lost something like 90% of its stock value a year or two before they started their campaign against Linux.

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (3, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260075)

Could be quite bad if they do. Nokia's set of patents is a lot larger than SCO's was, and covers more recent things.

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (3, Informative)

Karzz1 (306015) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260361)

I don't recall there ever being a patent argument in any of the SCO cases. All I recall are copyright infringement claims.

Wikipedia agrees with this. [wikipedia.org]

From the previously linked article:

SCO has not claimed patent infringement, as according to the US Patent and Trademark Office database, no AT&T or Novell patent was ever assigned to SCO.

....Microsoft paid SCO $6M (USD) in May 2003 for a license to "Unix and Unix-related patents", despite the lack of Unix-related patents owned by SCO.

If you are aware of SCO owned patents, please do tell.

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (4, Insightful)

fsterman (519061) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260483)

Renaming the invisible product doesn't make it any less of a bullshit argument.

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (0)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260095)

I wish them the same success!

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260465)

Honestly, such business model has been working great for many American, Japanese, etc. Companies. Why shouldn't they try it out?

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260515)

They aren't doing this on their own. Microsoft is currently holding the reigns forcing them to attack from another front while Microsoft tries a sneak attack up the rear.

Sneak attacks are all Microsoft has left, their operating systems suck, their tablet sucks, their phones suck, their gaming platform sucks, in short, they suck.

Re:A change of business model for Nokia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260609)

Just like Apple.

Is this where I say "lol"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43259829)

Ah, the last gasps of a dying company, and a dying way to make money. Good riddance to both.

Who is behind these Finns? (-1)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259835)

I have a feeling Nokia has changed it's attitude compared to a few years ago.
It makes me wonder, is it (the) new management or major investors that have caused this change or would any company have to stand up this way?
Or is Nokia simply so advanced others can only keep up by 'borrowing' their tech...

Re:Who is behind these Finns? (5, Interesting)

forkazoo (138186) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259919)

Microsoft. Basically, when Elop took over, Nokia became an MS Vassal. That's when they dumped the world's most popular phone OS and their internal modern OS development projects for Windows Phone, and why Windows Phone ads use Nokia phones. It's basically the same play they ran when they got SGI to start building NT workstations. And, not that far off from the investments in SCO to enable the fight against Linux. Note that the MS Vassal is actively using their patent portfolio specifically to fight one of Google's strategic plays, despite the fact that a phone vendor that has given up on OS development would probably do much better if they added Android to their phone portfolio.

Re:Who is behind these Finns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260205)

Nokia became an MS lapdog

ftfy

Re:Who is behind these Finns? (0)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260243)

That's when they dumped the world's most popular phone OS and their internal modern OS development projects for Windows Phone

When they dumped Symbian it was the *FORMER* world's most popular phone OS - Android had already dethroned Symbian when Nokia switched to Windows Phone.

As for MeeGo - would it have taken off? Maybe, but probably not. And the hardware it launched with was decidedly not modern at the time, which was perhaps a reason Nokia killed it. If they couldn't keep up with SoC developments, they would never manage to catch up to the competition.

Re:Who is behind these Finns? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43261159)

That's when they dumped the world's most popular phone OS and their internal modern OS development projects for Windows Phone

When they dumped Symbian it was the *FORMER* world's most popular phone OS - Android had already dethroned Symbian when Nokia switched to Windows Phone.

No. Android was not even close to Symbian at that time.

As for MeeGo - would it have taken off? Maybe, but probably not. And the hardware it launched with was decidedly not modern at the time, which was perhaps a reason Nokia killed it. If they couldn't keep up with SoC developments, they would never manage to catch up to the competition.

Meego hat much better changes than Windows Phone (which did not take off and still does not sell anywhere close to what Symbian was selling in the past
in a much smaller market.). What ever you are mumbling here about SoC development does not make any sense considering that Linux supports much more
hardware than Windows Phone.

Re:Who is behind these Finns? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43261251)

You are kidding right? The Maemo / Meego N900 and N97 received great reviews by people who actually used them.

Pity there was fuck all advertising and then Elop came along.

Re:Who is behind these Finns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43261535)

I agree . MS tried years to buy Nokia to be MS locked and finally, after Apple and Google scared Nokia, succeeded.
Now, as you said, Nokia is managed by MS. And MS is using Nokia as a tool to kill free mobile markets and competition, which do not exist in pc-world.

Re:Who is behind these Finns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43259971)

Quite simply, this is SCO v2.0

A dying company that's no longer relevant getting on tiptoes frantically waving its arms screaming "look at me, look at me!", all the while being propped up behind the scenes by Microsoft.

Re:Who is behind these Finns? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260353)

No it isn't. SCO was suing IBM for things they never did and if any did them Caldera (SCO) did them. Their filings were filled with lies.

Nokia at least invented the stuff they are suing for. Bad yes, but they are not in SCO's league.

Re:Who is behind these Finns? (3, Insightful)

r1348 (2567295) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259975)

Nokia is now, by all extents, a Microsoft proxy.

Re:Who is behind these Finns? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261249)

It has been a while... welcome to the brave new world!

A patent on tethering? (4, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259851)

So Nokia apparently has some trash "routing data from one network to another ON A MOBILE DEVICE" patent, and Florian Mueller is breathless about it. What's new?

Sounds Like a Nice Pair of Antiques (1)

rgriff59 (526951) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260179)

I'm more than happy to let Nokia claim a patent on tethering a cell phone with a cable to a PCMCIA card. Doesn't Nokia have any patents with vacuum tubes?

Not possible! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43259881)

Google said that VP8 is patent free!

Re:Not possible! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43259895)

Google also said "do no evil"

Re: Not possible! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260001)

Google said that Google Wave is the future of email.

Yeah. Right.

Well that claim is not possible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260143)

Since Google have patents in VP8, they cannot have said it was patent free.

I think you're a fuckwit.

How many? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43259909)

It's truly remarkable that a video codec can actually contain that many patents. Then consider that according to Nokia there are 86 infringing patents. Are they patenting 1+1=2? What's going on here?

Re:How many? (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259979)

Method to display a video... ON A PHONE!

More infringement claims coming from Nokia! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260485)

1 + 0 = 1 ON A PHONE
1 + 1 = 2 ON A PHONE
1 + 2 = 3 ON A PHONE
1 + 3 = 4 ON A PHONE
etc
2 + 0 = 2 ON A PHONE
2 + 1 = 3 ON A PHONE
2 + 2 = 4 ON A PHONE
2 + 3 = 5 ON A PHONE
etc

The 86 patents infringed were just the first installment. The lawyers took a break in filing the paperwork because they were running low on crack.

What else do you think Microsoft's slave can do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43259947)

What else do you think Microsoft's slave can do?

WARNING - Shill is the main information source (5, Informative)

Curupira (1899458) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259949)

Almost every single link in the summary leads to fosspatents.com, home of the infamous shill Florian Mueller [techrights.org] . I guess I'll wait for more credible sources, thanks.

Re:WARNING - Shill is the main information source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260527)

You link to TechRights then use the term "credible sources". DANGER: Excessive Irony!

Re:WARNING - Shill is the main information source (3, Funny)

halivar (535827) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260925)

Florian, you forgot to log in.

Re:WARNING - Shill is the main information source (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260847)

What's the goal here? Pay a blogger to convince geeks that google is being a douche and MS is the good guy when it comes to intellectual property rights, and so we all buy windows phones?

I can't see any way paying Florian Muller more than ten dollars a year makes any sense for their interests.

Re:WARNING - Shill is the main information source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260903)

The goal doesn't matter. FOSStards have a difficult life. Feeling like 3rd class citizens, economically disadvantaged, sexually frustrated, and most of all... lonely. Nothing makes them feel better than to focus all their anger, hurt, and sorrow on a target their "community" has identified as a suitable scapegoat. Let the slandering begin!

Re:WARNING - Shill is the main information source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43261141)

Cheap shill marketing. Miller is clearly aspiring to be the lowest type of marketing bunny --the sock puppet--. He is even going about it by trying to be a troll. I could invent a new term for such a creature: a Trock puppet: --The unholy union of a troll and a sock puppet.

It's official (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43259959)

SCOkia is going belly up!

Jesus! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43259963)

Enough of this shit. You want to know what hurts innovation? Shit like this. No one knows what petty (or even not petty) patents they're going to infringe upon if they try to make anything, so they just don't bother.

Correct me if I'm wrong but... (1)

mindwhip (894744) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260007)

Surely with VP8 being around for about 5 years now iirc any pending patents must have been lodges after VP8?

Can Nokia expect to win when the software they are trying to shut down with patents is usable as prior art to invalidate the same patents?

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong but... (4, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260121)

Nokia has been in phone business and phone related software business since the start. One could argue that they started the business in the first place and would be at least partially right.

They most definitely hold at least some patents that came to be before google was formed. And a whole lot more from time after google was formed but before it purchased android.

The problem is how they are choosing to use them. Normally you'd just negociate a licensing agreement and be done with it. But here, they're actually patent trolling. "We don't share the vision and do not want to help". So we sue to block. Ouch.

That's not the way nokia of old got to be on top. Elop and his microsoftism shines through.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong but... (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260225)

I think at this point, we can all look back on their history and realize that patents suck. Their concept was noble... protect the new inventor from having his invention stolen by a large corporation. But in practice, that happens anyway. Whomever has the most money for lawyers wins. The inventor of something is completely irrelevant at this point. Patents are nothing more than a legal artifice used by corporations to siphon money from one another. So lets just give it up, drop patent law and see how it goes. It can't be any worse than what we have now.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong but... (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260321)

Nokia is not a patent troll by any reasonable definition. They are a practicing entity who developed their own technology and has been in this from the beginning.

Patent trolls rarely sue to block. As non-practicing entities there would be no commercial reason for that sort of behavior.

This is going to be a mess unless Google just buys Nokia.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong but... (3, Interesting)

jcdr (178250) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260489)

Nokia is not a patent troll by any reasonable definition.

This was certainly true for a long part of the Nokia history. But the actual Nokia is something that have lost an extremely large amount of connections with the Nokia "mobile phone world leader" of the past. We are now forced to take notice that the actual Nokia is more and more close to the definition of patent troll. The latest new just confirm this trend.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong but... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260817)

Nokia is still a major cell phone company. While they missed the boat with their smartphones, they still have large market share in other areas.

Nokia is actually 2nd to only Samsung in total phone sales, and has a world wide market share of 20%.

The idea they are a patent troll is completely and 100% absurd.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong but... (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260403)

VP8 is evolved from TrueMotion S, released in 1990. So 22 years, not 5. Google acquired its developer ON2 in 2010.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260433)

From Wikipedia

For patents filed prior to June 8, 1995, the term of patent is either 20 years from the earliest filing date as above (excluding provisional applications) or 17 years from the issue date, whichever is longer. Extensions may be had for certain administrative delays.

so given we are in 2013 there should not even be many patents with extensions still valid at this point that covered the original...

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong but... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260575)

VP8 is evolved from TrueMotion S, released in 1990. So 22 years, not 5. Google acquired its developer ON2 in 2010.

Do you mean to say nothing was done on VP8 since 1990 that could possibly infringe any patent Nokia has? Is Google trying to feed us a 23 years old technology to revolutionize youtube?

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong but... (2)

Lennie (16154) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260967)

Let's see I looked at the one patent filed in my country. Patent filed at 2001, granted in 2011, valid to 2021.

What I hate the most is these hidden patents which are first filed, but they delay it for as long as possible (so they also remain hidden) and 10 years (!) later they get granted and are valid an other 10 years.

VP7 is from 2005, VP6 is from 2003, VP5 is from 2002. All based on TrueMotion S created in 1995 or so.

follow the money. (1)

span100 (2350592) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260015)

Is M$ behind this ? No idea, Is it the last gasp of a company in it's death throws having drunk from the poisned m$ chalice ? No idea, Will i buy another nokia product ? Never ever ever again....

Took them long enough. (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260021)

4.5 years after VP8 was released.
3 years after VP8 was made open source and freely available

"anonymous reader"... sure. (5, Insightful)

eddy (18759) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260047)

Can someone please change the "anonymous reader writes" to "The paid shill Florian Mueller? Thanks.

The tethering patent is about to expire (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260055)

...if it hasn't already (in the US) Assuming it's a valid patent to begin with. 1995 was a long time ago.

nokia,nokia..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260065)

Oh yes...that company that used an SLR to fake their smartphone performance. Now I remember.

V8, VP8, too many T.L.A.s out of my A.S.S. (1)

hermitdev (2792385) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260101)

When I first read this, I thought to my self, what does a javascript engine implementation have to do with video encoding? TLAs are annoying, often ambiguous, and easily confused when similar. I wish they would die, to a certain extent. I'm working an a project currently where a certain TLA refers to both and external system we're interfacing with, and a separating 3rd-party library we're using. To say this causes confusion would be and understatement.

Re:V8, VP8, too many T.L.A.s out of my A.S.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260697)

V8 is not a TLA and is therefore completely different. Technically, neither is VP8. In fact, since 8 is not a letter, V8 would be more of an abbrev. than an acronym.

Re:V8, VP8, too many T.L.A.s out of my A.S.S. (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261297)

Please define TLA. Seriously.

Hey Florian Mueller (0, Offtopic)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260123)

Suck my big dongle.

Re:Hey Florian Mueller (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260281)

That's sexually offensive to that cunt Florian. For shame!

Re:Hey Florian Mueller (-1, Offtopic)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260343)

That's sexually offensive to that cunt Florian. For shame!

Yes, I fully expect to be twattered around, for this.

Nokia = Microsoft, VP8 = H264 knock-off (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260227)

Firstly, this is Microsoft vs Google, so why can't the summary be grown up enough to acknowledge this? Secondly, VP8 was originally a closed-source project, and the company behind this used the fact to illegally rip-off CODECs whose spec and mechanisms were published openly. When Google bought VP8, and made the specs and code-base available, it was immediately apparent that the CODEC was a VERY bad knock-off of MPEG4.

The payment Google made to MPEG LA was a direct admittance of this fact. There seems to be zero reason why Google should be able to offer VP8 at better terms than H264, unless Google always swallows at least the same cost that deploying H264 in similar circumstances would cost. This being so, and given that VP8 is a vastly worse CODEC than MPEG4 AVC, and AVC has a brilliant open-source video encoder called x264, and AVC is supported in hardware on every modern mobile computer, why on Earth would anyone wish to use VP8?

In an age of mobile computing, we don't need open-source solutions crippled by 'politics'. Instead, we need the best high efficiency computing solutions- solutions that respect the battery, not a bunch of junky useless abstraction layers that require watts to achieve what otherwise could be done with milliwatts. VP8 is a very poor solution that should be consigned to the dustbin of history (something Google seems to have little problem doing to so many of its other projects and purchases).

Re:Nokia = Microsoft, VP8 = H264 knock-off (4, Informative)

fsterman (519061) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260711)

I know I am not supposed to feed it, but just in case...

Second, When MPEG LA first announced the VP8 pool formation, a rush of companies applied to be in the pool, partly because everyone wanted to see what everyone else had. That gave way to some amount of disappointment. And by 'some amount' I mean 'rather a lot really, more than the MPEG-LA would care to admit.'

Eventually, things whittled down to a few holdouts. Those '11 patent holders' do not assert they have patents that cover the spec. They said '_may_ cover'. The press release itself repeats this. Then these patent holders said 'and we're willing to make that vague threat go away for a little cash'. Google paid the cash. This is what lawyers do.

That's why it's a huge newsworthy deal when companies like NewEgg actually take the more expensive out and litigate a patent. It is always more expensive than settling, even if you'd win the case, and very few companies are willing or able to do it. Google was probably able, but not willing.

As for the quality stuff, WebM is close enough that it doesn't matter [compression.ru] . We could argue details of that point, but the real reason Google is doing this is because the use cases for a web-centric codec are VERY different than the use cases for Hollywood and broadcast media. For example, web programmers don't care about encoding speed, we care about battery usage on cell-phones.

Not Finns anymore ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260263)

... Nokia has gone south once Americans took over ownership and decided to put Eflop at helm.

Real Patent Reform (3, Insightful)

slacka (713188) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260279)

Wow! Back in 1999 after I purchased my first cellphone, one of the first things I did was to investigate how to connect it to my laptop to give me a mobile modem. Sure enough there was serial cable I could buy for it.

I don't care how early Nokia was to enter the mobile phone market. There is no way they should be able to patent any part this process. I'd rather have no patents at all than grant a 20 year monopoly to some company for tacking "on a mobile device" to some obvious idea like tethering.

We need real patent reform like:
* Eliminating Software patents
* Fix the "obviousness test" and throw out all the existing ones that fail to meet this standard.
* No patents granted to logical evolution of current technology like tethering
* Grant a theoretical patent (i.e. where invention has not yet been realized) for no more than 7 years
* Allow a patent extension/modification upon successful invention
* Mechanical and physics-technology patents should last no more than 15 years

Re:Real Patent Reform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43260435)

Just eliminate all patents. Ownership of ideas is a travesty of capitalism and an insult to the human intellect.

How is this different from prior art? (1)

Cacadril (866218) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260695)

A mobile computer is still a computer. A mobile phone is a device containing a computer. What the tethering device is doing is not different from what any router does, and what any router does used to be done by general computers since the advent of the tcp/ip protocol suite. Or can you patent routing with a pink computer, declaring that after today, pink computers are a different kind of device? Or patent routing with a computer having a wooden case? (But that patent would not be worth much since few people need to put their computers inside wooden cases.) Or patent routing with a computer having sub x-nanometer techonoly (substitute a suitable number for 'x'), in case you are the first to achieve sub x-nanometer feature chips? What about patenting multiplication of numbers using a computer having sub x-nanometer technology?

A scathing analysis of VP8 came out 3 years ago (1)

isdnip (49656) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260803)

A blog post from "Diary of an X.264 developer" http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/archives/377 [multimedia.cx] looked at VP8 and noted a number of probable infringements. The killer argument, though, was this:

The spec consists largely of C code copy-pasted from the VP8 source code -- up to and including TODOs, âoeoptimizationsâ, and even C-specific hacks, such as workarounds for the undefined behavior of signed right shift on negative numbers. In many places it is simply outright opaque. Copy-pasted C code is not a spec.

So while I don't like Microsoft's business practices or Nokia's for that matter, the idea that VP8 is patent-free seems rather optimistic.

Nokia declares war on the internet (1)

kawabago (551139) | about a year and a half ago | (#43260949)

This isn't going to go well for Nokia. Already no one wants their products and Microsoft has already hinted they'll abandon Windows phone next year. Nokia is now a patent troll with no other business model. Well, it has a business model, but it's so broken it will never recover. Hiring that nitwit Elop. Elost!

Re:Nokia declares war on the internet (0)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261199)

Microsoft has already hinted they'll abandon Windows phone next year.

This bullshit is why I hate Slashdot and posters like SymbolSet who make up lies and FUD and then you have others regurgitating this nonsense for years like dumb sheep., like Microsoft abandoning .NET.

Nokia and HTC should merge... (0)

bayankaran (446245) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261325)

Both Nokia and HTC are under serious threat from their competitors. They can survive if they merge. The resulting hybrid can put out the Windoze phones - which no one buys right now - and Androids which can be a credible alternative to Samsung.

Plus they should stop patent cases...the issue with the patent trolling / litigation is not the cost of lawyers, it is the shift of focus of upper / senior management / C Level from innovation and better products to courtrooms. We all have - including the evil and socio-path chief executives - only 24 hours a day.

The recent troubles of Apple (to an extent) can be attributed to Steve Jobs shift of focus from 'better rounded corners' to 'lawyers defending rounded corners'. Its a pity Jobs died before he could experience his idiocy first hand...all we have is the great beautiful multimillion dollar Philip Starck yatch and lawyers defending rounded corners. Tim Cook is an unlucky bugger...he is sloshing in the poop Jobs left behind as his legacy.

Re:Nokia and HTC should merge... (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261513)

If HTC goes Windows they are dead. Today the market for Windows phones is small, the amount of apps low compared to Android and iPhone, so no thanks Windows.

I would say that the majority of patent cases like these are actually not valid and the only reason why they exist is that the courts are incompetent.

The fact that they pursue this is more a sign that Nokia is dying, and their connection to Microsoft doesn't help. The patents they refer to are either obvious or there are prior art.

Just go ahead and dig deep into the history of various technical solutions including WiFi and the old NMT and D-AMPS mobile phone systems to name a few.

What I want to know is. (1)

TheRealDevTrash (2849653) | about a year and a half ago | (#43261507)

How you can patent speech. Because, isn;t code speech, or was PZ wrong?
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