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Nokia discloses their patents on VP8/WebM (ietf.org)
102 points by thristian 1286 days ago | hide | past | web | 64 comments | favorite



A little while ago, Google reached an agreement with MPEG-LA where MPEG-LA would stop claiming that its members had patents that covered VP8, so it seemed that VP8 was patent-clean after all.

However, the IETF is currently trying working on the WebRTC effort for standardizing Skype-style audio and video conferencing via web-browsers. They have already standardised the Opus audio codec for audio-conferencing, and now they're trying to find a suitable video-codec. VP8 was the obvious choice, but now Nokia (who is not a member of the MPEG-LA, and so is not covered by MPEG-LA's agreement with Google) has come forward with a list of patents they hold, which they claim cover VP8.

I don't know much about these patents, I don't know whether they do or don't cover VP8, but it's big list with patent-numbers in it, which is far more concrete evidence than MPEG-LA was ever able to muster.


I find it interesting, that if they are not part of MPEG-LA, somehow these patents apply to VP8, but don't apply in any way to H264? Does that mean that most commercial MPEG-LA licensees also do separate deals with Nokia, or that by sheer coincidence, this boatload of patents manages to cover VP8 but does not intersect H264? It smells kind of funny, like there's an alternate motive besides looking for royalties.


MPEG-LA doesn't claim to have all possible H.264 patents in their patent pool. Nokia has an FRAND obligation for H.264, so it's obligated to license on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, but it has chosen not to be part of the pool.

MPEG-LA did not claim to have all possible VP8 patents either.

Note that MPEG-LA is basically a group that sets up convenient one-stop licensing, there's no such thing as being a "member" per se. You can be part of any of their patent pools, or not, if you believe you have essential IP.


No they did not claim to have all the patents, nor do I expect Google made this assumption (there's a never ending list!), but the timing is very curious. What does Nokia really want out of this if they are not interested in licensing under any circumstances?

This is not the first time Nokia did this. IIRC, they also threatened Ogg when it was being proposed as the mandatory codec for the <video> element.

Certain companies that have large installed bases of H264 hardware certainly have a vested interested in seeing H264 as the mandatory WebRTC codec.


Has any party actually proposed h.264 being made mandatory to implement for WebRTC?


Yes, Nokia, Cisco, Apple, Microsoft, Ericcson, RIM, France Telecom/Orange, Qualcomm.

http://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-dbenham-webrtc-videomt...

IETF's royalty-free commitment isn't as strong as W3C's so unlike the HTML5 codec were they were just filibustering alternatives, they are actually arguing for H.264 to be MTI. But the VP8 camp is strong enough to at least prevent that, even if not strong enough to prevail as MTI itself.

There's some overlap with the groups that didn't want Opus made MTI as well (one of them submitted a patent against it too).


It's sort of interesting that the list itself is semi-obfuscated, just a bunch of inline records. I count 12 "Country:US" patents. Of those, 4 have "NA" for "Grant number", which I take to mean they have not issued. That's not a strong list. I think this is good news, honestly.


I don't know. I took a random pick of one of the US Patents and took a look at it.

Take US6735249 as an example. "Apparatus, and associated method, for forming a compressed motion vector field utilizing predictive motion coding".

I'm by no means an expert in video codecs, but to me it seems at least plausible that this patent would cover parts of VP8.


I'm not an expert on video codecs either, but that is yet another math patent.

It includes a reference to an "apparatus" in the summary, and a ref to "storage means" [sic] (should be "storage medium") in one of the claims, but that claim (4) is the only one I noticed that makes any reference to any non-theoretical, non-mathematical, non-ephemeral (i.e. the vague notion of "transmitting" or "retrieving") element.

If patenting math weren't bad enough, completely absurd chained claims include:

3. A method according to claim 2 further comprising the steps of: transmitting said coded information to a decoder for decoding.

4. A method according to claim 2 further comprising the steps of: storing said coded information in a storage means.

42. A video encoder according to claim 41, further comprising: means for transmitting said encoded information for the segment to a decoder for decoding.

If claims 2 and 41 (base claims for 3, 4, and 42) are too weak to apply in a particular case, or are unpatentable (which should be the case since they are math claims), they cannot possibly be made stronger simply by handwaving in some mentions of storage and of transferring data. Yet that is how all of these algorithm/math patents hope to survive. Reference a computer, referencing storing something, reference transmitting something, and suddenly something that's not patentable becomes patentable.

This patent racket depends on the idea that it's so uncommon to think to use a computer to perform some calculation, or implement an algorithm in a chip, or use disks or memory to store data, or use a data bus or ethernet/infiniband/rapidio to transmit anything, that adding those things (usually not even mentioning a specific type of computer, or storage, or transmission mechanism) vaults the idea into uniqueness.

Supposing 3, 4, and 42 somehow survived, because they might in the strictest sense be considered to involved material things, they amount to retrieving data (from an unspecified data source), performing transformations (math) to them (using unspecified hardware), and possibly storing or transmitting the results (again, hardware unspecified).

Software patents are simply a scam. They take something that's unpatentable subject matter, add generic boilerplate to it, trying to connect it with real hardware, and hope the USPTO approves it.


> ...which is far more concrete evidence than MPEG-LA was ever able to muster. reply

Able isn't the right word here; willing, or perhaps needed is more apt. MPEG-LA had no incentive to make their claims more specific. We're not really sure what the consortium could/would've brought to bear in an infringement suit.


I would assume that it's the same patents registered in multiple countries so it's mostly legal boilerplate. There appear to be twelve in the US which I'm guessing are just then repeated in other nations.

Note that there's absolutely no downside for Nokia to declare irrelevant patents against an IETF spec. Some of the other big companies do it just out of habit, on the basis that it's all upside for them.

See the recent Opus patent rebuttal:

https://hacks.mozilla.org/2013/02/defending-opus/


> However, the IETF is currently trying working on the WebRTC effort for standardizing Skype-style audio and video conferencing via web-browsers.

Now I see why Nokia (with an ex-Microsoft CEO) doesn't want VP8 to succeed. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 and is looking to protect that investment. Wouldn't be the first time that had happened at least.


From the ietf mailing list: "The declaration says that Nokia is not prepared to license the listed patents for RFC 6386 under any terms."

Deja Vu: http://boingboing.net/2007/12/09/nokia-to-w3c-ogg-is.html

Things that make you go hmmm.


Is it too far fetched to wonder if Nokia is fighting on behalf of MS? In the end Nokias CEO comes from MS, Nokia is very dependant on MS nowadays and MS has a strong interest in H264, is a member of MPEG-LA and earns money from every H264 license?

All that software patent bullshit needs to stop, already, it's sickening!! It's the <video> tag discussion all over again. Why can't we have royalty-free, free-for-all codecs in an OPEN worldwide standard?! Because stupid companies like Nokia, MS or Apple are NOT acting on behalf of the users but on behalf of their own income.

And don't start with "but h264 has so much better quality!" No normal person could tell the difference between a proper vp8 encoded FullHD youtube video and a h264 one, it's not like there are glaring differences!


>> And don't start with "but h264 has so much better quality!" No normal person could tell the difference between a proper vp8 encoded FullHD youtube video and a h264 one, it's not like there are glaring differences!

The glaring difference is in the ubiquitous hardware encoder/decoder support, which in itself is more than enough reason to prefer H264 anywhere. I'd be really happy if everyone should finally stop beating the dead horse that is VP8, because as it stands it never served any other purpose than channeling unfounded bias against H264 because it is not 'free' enough for some people to comprehend, even though neither industry nor consumers have ever made a big problem out of this. A bit like no-one ever bothered to complain about the fact that there are millions of other technologies in widespread use that aren't royalty-free. The fear-mongering and FUD about MPEG-LA as if they are some kind of extortionist codec mafia really has been mind-boggling from day 1.


There will never be an alternative the way it is today. One of the reasons the MPEG-LA exists is to prevent and supress competition, don't you think? The whole concept is bullshit.

I tell you how i see it: In a world without MPEG-LA (even without h264) there would still be good video codecs. There are plenty out there (e.g. VP8, VP9, Dirac and what not). They were created like many other codecs and standards and still they can exist, there is no need for the MPEG-LA! The only purpose the MPEG-LA has is to prevent competition (and thus prevent choice for the endconsumer, for me!) from entering the market. And even without the MPEG-LA and the licensing model (and the obvious patent trolling behaviour in the past) there is enough money to make for codec implementations and content creators. Why can't it be that way, that we have a "free" codec (as i've said, there are alternatives) without the licensing and yet we can still have a whole industry around them. Hardware chips could support a free codec and h264. The W3C could recommend a free codec for HTML5 video and webrtc. Software companies that write encoding/decoding software could even earn more money (no fees) and would thrive on competition and not rely on suppression/patent trolling. I think that everyone (meaning the customer!) would win, if the MPEG-LA (and other patent trolls) would be shut down, you'll have a hard time to convince me otherwise.

I couldn't care less about the "hardware decoder/encoder support" argument, because it's a symptom of all that MPEG-LA crap, not a reason. Everything the MPEG-LA works for is to make sure there will only be that one video codec. They will also make sure that only H265 will get enough hardware support (see, 2 codecs in one chip, is this even possible you say!?).. And on it goes, it's a kind of monopoly and one that knows how to play the game and keep earning money.

The point that there are "other technologies in widespread use that aren't royalty-free." is not an argument, it's just a sad fact. In general there are alternatives available and in general i don't see such a patent abusing behaviour in other areas.


Keep in mind that MPEG (which defines codecs) and MPEG-LA (which gives you one-stop shopping for some of the patent licnses) are completely separate entities.

MPEG-LA even arranges patent licensing for some codecs not developed by MPEG, such as SMPTE VC-1.

They may have a vested interest in the royalty-bearing license regime but not necessarily in supporting any given codec family.


Yes, the time that Apple refused to release the new version of Quicktime until the MPEG-LA retracted their idiotic, web-incompatible licence regime for the AAC audio codec simply didn't happen.

Nor did the uproar of Chinese DVD manufacturers who saw the value of IP in a DVD player rise to nearly half the cost of production and put many out of business.

And no consumer has ever complained about DRM or region-coding on their video content that rely on their patents as Hook IP to be enforced in player devices.


It's quite probable that those companies are pushing for MPEG4 because they paid millions to licence it and they don't want to pay for another codec. There's no way to know if the promised patent-free codecs are really patent-free.


From that list Apple, Microsoft and Sony are licensors.

Hence are very much key members of MPEG-LA.

http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/Licensors.aspx


Do you honestly think Nokia, MS or Apple could care less about the tiny royalties that come from H.264 licensing ? And if they did why provide free APIs for developers ?

And the reason H.264 is successful is not because of its superior quality. It's because MPEG-LA has companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Canon, Nikon which means H.264 is supported from capture to editing to publishing to viewing.


Probably not, but they might be interested in preventing the progress of WebRTC, which could threaten Skype.


Do you have a source for "tiny royalties"? How much does MPEG-LA earn in a year? A few millions per licensing company here, a few hundred thousand per video site there.. It adds up!


Apple and Microsoft also ship a lot of products that use H.264 and thus have to pay for their use of H.264, so I don't think it is at all obvious that is it a profit centre for them. Microsoft at least have said they lose money on it, and I doubt the situation for Apple is much different:

Though they have patents in the H.264 pool that MPEG LA licenses, Microsoft has said it pays MPEG LA twice as much in royalties to ship H.264-enabled products than it receives in royalty payments back. And Apple has only a single patent in the H.264 pool, so it appears its interests in H.264 and MPEG LA are not directly financial.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20038615-264.html


Yes, and i should trust in that source? haha, of course! The point is that the whole conglomerate of companies is enough power to prevent competition and innovation (from the outside), to dictate prices, to dominate a whole market with whatever fits your companies strategy best. This constellation has never been good for the consumer. Nobody guarantees you that they're holding back with the fees until they can establish h.265 as the new defacto standard and then start raising fees, because eventually we'll have the same situation again as nowadays (hard decoders only support h264/265, etc etc). Again, there will be no competition, in a few years every video conference will be h264/5, every web video wil be h264, every Bluray, virtually every video.. If you have that kind of dominance you can do whatever the fuck you like. Like raising the fees and leeching the money out of companies because there is no choice. Atleast that's what i would do ;)


I don't understand your argument here. It's not hard to look up how many patents MS or Apple have in the H.264 patent pool. It's then simple maths to see that neither of them hold a majority of the patents, so every H.264 licence they have to buy costs them money. Raising the price is against their interest while they continue to be big players in the market (and no, I don't believe MS have some long term plan to stop selling Windows and make money off video codec patents instead, the idea is ludicrous). I don't know how much say they have in the pricing, but I assume they have some influence.

The reason Apple and MS are ok with H.264 is that they are large and can easily absorb the cost, but it is harder for new players in the marketplace to do that, and harder for people at the cheaper end of the market where margins are much thinner. (There are other reasons too of course, like engineering time already invested in H.264, hardware support on millions of devices already shipped etc etc).

If you want to get anywhere with your argument then you are going to have to convince people at Apple and Microsoft and others. Calling them liars and dreaming up conspiracy theories about how they are going to make billions from MPEG-LA revenues won't help you convince them. Trying to publicly shame them with bad publicity isn't working and never had much chance of working because very few regular people care that Mozilla or Ubuntu might have to pay royalties for video codecs.

Final word of advice: move development out of the US. There are plenty of countries that don't recognise software patents. Remember the crypto situation? The answer there was to move crypto development outside the US. Make software patents into an argument about "US Jobs", and you will have a much easier time convincing legislators. At the moment they are being told that software patents protect US jobs, and that argument is always going to trump more ethereal ones about fair competition and freedom.


Except that the H.264 standard has been fantastic for consumers. I can get video from my Canon DSLR or Android phone, edit it in Final Cut Pro, save it to YouTube and watch it on my iPad. Or use the huge array of competitors e.g. Nikon, Premiere, Vimeo, Nexus 10.

You seem to be arguing that standards prevent competition. When in fact they cause it to flourish.


You don't seem to understand that i am all for open standards but against a monopoly, against so called "standards" that are defended by use of patents instead of innovation. The MPEG-LA is forcing a standard on people by misuse of patents. I'm certainly very much pro-standard! The same as i am against Office Open XML (a standard as well) but for OpenDocument Format (yet another standard).

To put it into one sentence: A standard should NEVER ever be controlled/represented/defended by a group of companies with monetary interests.

If you have a monetary interest in upholding a standard it is clear that you will try to prevent competition.


> A standard should NEVER ever be controlled/represented/defended by a group of companies with monetary interests.

You mean like VP8/WebM by Google?


Once something is unencumbered, there is nothing to stop forking. For example, Mozilla could take VP8, use a new container, evolve the codec, etc. There's the difference.

You try and fork H.264 you get sued.

The fundamental freedom in "open" is freedom to fork. Everyone forgets that.


VP8 and WebM are formats, not standards. Interesting read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebM


Apple has 170 billion in liquid assets and annual revenues of 100+ billion.

Given that licensing isn't broken out or even mentioned in their market conference calls gives you a pretty good indication that it is a pretty insignificant amount.


"Unwilling to Commit to the Provisions of a), b), or c) Above" refers to the following from the IETF's template for patent disclosures and licensing declarations[1]

a) ___ No License Required for Implementers

b) ___ Royalty-Free, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory License to All Implementers

c) ___ Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory License to All Implementers with Possible Royalty/Fee

[1] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3905


This seems to be a commendable action (even if it is forced by the standards body) to me - come forward with what patents you have publicly and then it can be resolved.

Contrast to Microsoft who claims mysterious patents on Android and refuses to disclose what they are purposefully to create and aura of FUD and prevent any resolution. With these patents in the open, Google can work around them, license them or dispute their infringement directly.


> Unwilling to Commit to the Provisions of a), b), or c) Above.

That's the evil part. It means they are unwilling to license those patents. https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-ipr-template-09


All patents are by definition, publicly viewable. But you may be right in that figuring out which patents are associated with which technologies can be hard when companies have thousands of them.

One would think that Google would on average be better at searching through a large database of patents than any other company, though.


Most of the patents in question probably read more like "method to send video over a network" than technical documents. Everyone in the space has some. What they are disclosing is which ones they intend to make a nuisance over.


Another example of how patents harm innovation and in particular open-source software: years of video codec innovation by Google and On2 are now being pirated by Nokia using these patent threats. Note that many of the countries where they claim to have been granted patents do not, in theory, allow software patents at all.


Good observation. I went back and checked the list again, and see my own country (ZA) in amongst the listed patents - a country where software patents are explicitly /forbidden/ in law... something awfully smelly about this.


There are many EU countries there as well and the EU allows no software patents either. However there are many loopholes in the system which can still lead to patents being granted if the patent is formulated differently.

That's why international patent lawyers earn so much money. They rewrite the patent to fit national law.

The patent system is broken and has to be removed.


VP8 was developed as patented proprietary technology by On2, and the only innovation since Google purchased the company has been picking a container format.

It might be solid gold in every other respect, but it's not a very good example of open source innovation or of patents harming innovation.


Only if you define innovation narrowly. Would you say x264 has no "video codec innovation"? If so you can conclude that VP8 innovation stopped when the spec was frozen. (And that's not even counting VP9 which builds on the foundation of VP8, or the Hantro VP8 hardware development).


Indeed, but On2's patents on what they invented are not shielding Google from the expropriation of their work by Nokia, using other patents. It seems to me that, while patents are perhaps intended to secure your ownership of your invention, in this case they are calling On2's ownership of On2's invention into question, and the patents On2 filed are not helping at all. If patent offices had simply rejected all the related patent applications out of hand, Google would now be in a much better position.


That's one of the mental traps of the term "Intellectual Property", it doesn't protect what you own, it only allows you to stop other people from doing things (and therefor charge them in order to get your permision). But other people can use the same mechanism to stop you doing things with your own "property". That's why the asymmetric warfare of patent trolls works so well, they don't actually do anything you can interfere with via your IP.


To put it another way, patents work to prevent innovation, but they don't work to protect innovation.


I wonder if Google will be able to use its own patents on VP8 to pressure Nokia into a deal. As I understand it, Nokia lost its license when it sued HTC in Germany over VP8 technology[1], since the WebM licensing terms say:

If you or your agent or exclusive licensee institute or order or agree to the institution of patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that this implementation of VP8 or any code incorporated within this implementation of VP8 constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, or inducement of patent infringement, then any patent rights granted to you under this License for this implementation of VP8 shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed. [2]

Of course Google only gets leverage from their VP8 patents to the extent that VP8 is used...

[1] http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/rtcweb/current/msg06704...

[2] http://www.webmproject.org/license/additional/


As long as the Qualcomm application processors don't support hardware based VP8 decoding, Nokia probably won't care.

The day that mainstream application processor vendors support hardware based VP8 decoding, this will change.


It seems we have some very strong forces who will do everything they can do to prevent an open, standards-based and DRM-free video-protocol to become part of the internet.

We should shun them absolutely in every way we can.

Anyone who supports WebDRM: Boycott.

Anyone who patent-trolls: Boycott.


This is what happens when a company stops having anything relevant to contribute and just becomes a bag'o'patents.


Wow, how quickly people forget :D In 2010, Nokia was the 3rd ranked company in the world with regards to R&D spending ($8.2B). They hold more than 50% of the patents for 3G, and close to that for LTE. They also hold patents for thousands of other technologies. Nokia used to be a innovation powerhouse. They still try, just at a lower level. Look at their PureView technologies for example. Some of those billions need to come back somehow :) (Sued Apple, etc)

Super bad management drove such a great company to its knees. It makes me sad. 7 years before Apple, Nokia shows off a color touch screen phone with one button, with more amazing features for its time--Management shuts the idea down. Here is a cool article worth a read of how things went sour at Nokia: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405270230438800457753...


It almost looks like as soon as expensive R&D is done and someone made a copy or knock-off of some piece of technology, it had suddenly appeared out of thin air, and the original inventors/investors who made it possible are patent trolls because they aren't giving it away free for all. H264 vs VP8 is just like that, it took years and millions to get to the point where we are now, but hey it's not free (in some specific cases where you make money off of it yourself), so it must be evil and we should kill it with fire :-/


>stops having anything relevant to contribute

You mean like Lumia Phones, Nokia Maps, Nokia Free Music...

I love their apps and hardware but I do however disagree with their stance on enforcing unnecessary patents!


Nokia's still little more than a blip on the smartphone radar. Their alliance with Microsoft was an effort to save their smartphone division, and it's affecting other areas of their business. First they laid off the entire Qt team, now they're attacking open standards. It's like SCO all over again.


SCO worked out pretty well for Microsoft the first time. Years of distraction from a dead company, they got to pay off David Boise in return for his dropping the anti-trust case, and nobody successfully followed the money trail back to Microsoft in any way that mattered.

Why wouldn't they try to do it again?


Why wouldn't they try to do it again?

Indeed, but it still makes me wish I were born on Mars or something.


I like their subscription music service (Many labels are not available though). But this patent troll stance makes me feel that nokia is being used to fight unnecessary rivalries.


A Nokia spokesman is quoted in this article: http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/03/nokia-comments-on-vp8-pat...

as stating

“Nokia believes that open and collaborative efforts for standardization are in the best interests of consumers, innovators and the industry as a whole. We are now witnessing one company attempting to force the adoption of its proprietary technology, which offers no advantages over existing, widely deployed standards such as H.264 and infringes Nokia's intellectual property. As a result, we have taken the unusual step of declaring to the Internet Engineering Task Force that we are not prepared to license any Nokia patents which may be needed to implement its RFC6386 specification for VP8, or for derivative codecs.”

So their position is that since VP8 does not offer any technical or licensing advantages over H.264 (Nokia being at least one company that owns or claims to own patents on it), they’re going to use their patents to prevent Google from promoting VP8. At this point, I don’t see why any reasonable person would still want to use H.264 over VP8.


Just a reminder to those who believe that royalty-free licensing _is_ an advantage, the IETF is a completely open standards body. Anyone can join the mailing lists and contribute to the decision making. The rtcweb chairs are currently planning to call for a decision on a Mandatory To Implement video codec on the mailing list in a few weeks, after Google publishes the license terms that came out of their deal with the MPEG LA.

List information: https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/rtcweb


In other words, this isn't really about innovation or "theft of ip", but suppressing competition, more evidence of the abuse of the patent system.

As to why a reasonable person would want to not use H.264? It's simple. Organizations like Mozilla cannot ship software with IP encumbered codecs. WebRTC doesn't say that you cannot use H.264, it allows you to negotiate the codec, this debate over what is the minimum fallback codec that everyone has to support.

Given that Microsoft/Skype/Nokia have been against the IETF WebRTC proposal, you can gather for very good business reasons. A non-IP encumbered spec widely deployed would be a threat to Skype/Cisco/Nokia et al who have commercial video conferencing stuff, it would commoditize the market for video chat and make it a trivial matter.

The established players only have to gain by delaying an open spec. I think even if H264 were used over VP8, there Microsoft and others would find other reasons to stop it.


Well, I guess it looks like they’re suppresing competition, but if Nokia’s correct that they own patents on VP8, then VP8 is patent encumbered and promoting it just creates fragmentation. This argument seems kind of tautological if Nokia’s the only company with patents on VP8 that Google does not have a license to, but otherwise it seems reasonable. They could offer to license their VP8 patents at the same cost they offer their H.264 patents at, but instead they’re choosing not to license them at all. What other motive would they have for “suppressing competition” if they could charge the same to license their patents either way?


Realistically, everything is patent encumbered. It's probably impossible to write anything that has more than 1,000 lines of code that isn't. That's not a good argument for defeating a spec, it's a good argument for opposing patent trolling and reforming the patent system.

Clearly, Nokia, which used to be a leader in the mobile market, is on is on a downhill slide and like Kodak was with film, and is turning to their patent portfolio to slow down the slide into the abyss. This is typical in the industry, when companies start losing marketshare to competition, they start getting litigious.

For example, they are suing HTC over a 1995 patent on "tethering". Really? The entire internet going back to the 80s is about tethering. I used to tether my Amiga off of a PC via a null-modem cable to get internet access. This is a pretty offensive patent, in the "disgusting" sense. Apple similarly sued poor old HTC over a 90s patent on using regular expressions to detect phone numbers in a page and make them clickable.

Legal or not, the whole idea of "ownership" of this kind is deeply disturbing to me. The new generation of entrepreneurs have to contend with an environment that was far more litigious than it was in the dawn of personal computing, and often the very same players who benefited early on by lack of trolls, are now some of the biggest.

The only glimmer of light for me is that by the time my son is old enough to make his way in the world, most of this crap will have expired.


Links to US, European and Canadian patents http://mdpaste.appspot.com/p/agdtZHBhc3Rlcg0LEgVQYXN0ZRjJoxY...


Google just killed Reader. How long before it will kill VP8?


Oh this is just getting silly now.

"How long before it will kills x?" is becoming the new "What ever happened to 'Don't Be Evil'?".

A lazy incantation trotted out by people who haven't really thought out whether it applies to the situation under discussion in any sensible way.




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