Re: [rtcweb] Google VP8 Patent Grant for third parties [Was Re:Proposal for H.263 baseline codec]

Dean Willis <dean.willis@softarmor.com> Tue, 10 April 2012 18:50 UTC

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Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2012 13:50:41 -0500
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From: Dean Willis <dean.willis@softarmor.com>
To: Serge Lachapelle <sergel@google.com>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Google VP8 Patent Grant for third parties [Was Re:Proposal for H.263 baseline codec]
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On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 12:54 PM, Serge Lachapelle <sergel@google.com> wrote:

>
> Google confirms that the VP8 patent grant applies to both third-party
> hardware and software implementations of VP8.
> *
> *
>
>
That's very nice of Google, but I'm personally not worried about Google
filing suit against me (as a small developer) if I implement using VP8.

What I'm worried about is either a troll who has acquired a patent through
the usual fire-sale process, or a Big Old Research Lab that has a gazillion
patents but no revenue and decides to start monetizing patents its
management team had forgotten existed. Both sorts of entities are very
active in today's world of patent fights. And there are patents on design
patterns going way back; we're approaching a world of "solid invention"
where every alternative design for anything we know how to do has already
been described in a patent filing.

So if you really want me to be comfortable with implementing using VP8, buy
me an insurance policy that will indemnify me (and any other developer) for
any costs related to defending against any future infringement claims on
VP8. Perhaps I'd even settle for a free software stack that includes such
indemnification in its license. This wouldn't help the hardware
implementer, much, however.

--
Dean