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

"Paul E. Jones" <paulej@packetizer.com> Thu, 05 April 2012 07:15 UTC

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From: "Paul E. Jones" <paulej@packetizer.com>
To: "'Harald Alvestrand'" <harald@alvestrand.no>, <rtcweb@ietf.org>
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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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Harald,

> On 04/04/2012 07:23 AM, Paul E. Jones wrote:
> > I would have a high degree of confidence that I could identify all
> > H.264 IPR holders.
> Question .... how would you do that?
> I'm genuinely curious. The subject has come up in other discussions,
> including in ISO in connection with the WebVC and IVC projects.
> 
> The database in question is an ISO database, not an ITU database, and the
> format is most un-database-like; it is here:
> 
> http://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink/fetch/2000/2122/3770791/JTC1_Patent
> s_database.html?nodeid=3777806&vernum=-2
> <http://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink/fetch/2000/2122/3770791/JTC1_Paten
> ts_database.html?nodeid=3777806&vernum=-2>

There are two databases.  One with ISO (and you have the link) and the other
is ITU:
http://www.itu.int/ipr/IPRSearch.aspx?iprtype=PS

Just enter "H.264" into the box under "Recommendation No" and hit ENTER.
There are 327 filed IPR claims.

Of course, this is not all of the IPR that may exist, but my point is that
it's highly unlikely that more exists from companies not listed given the
ITU and ISO's patent policies, participating companies' mutual desire to see
the technology succeed, etc.  Virtually every concept you can imagine that
found its way into H.264 is either prior art or new IPR introduced by
participating companies, all of which SHOULD be listed.  If a company
participated and failed to disclose IPR... that's really bad.  Not only
would the defendant be unhappy, but said IPR holder might very well be
blocked from further participation.  Something would be done.  And, they
might have a tough time arguing in court, knowing they were withholding
information and, thus, misleading the defendant who could demonstrate an
effort was made to negotiate with all IPR holders.  If I were a judge, I
would not take kindly to such subversive, destructive behavior in an
standards organization.  That leaves only patent trolls who did not
participate in the H.264 work.  There is little we can do with such entities
who, quite likely, never invented anything in H.264, but have a patent
worded just well enough to give the illusion that they invented something in
the standard.  This is an unfortunate reality in our world with all
technology.

Now, as I look at the 327 patents filed on H.264 (in the ITU database
alone), I'm left wondering... nobody in the whole world has even one on VP8
outside of On2 / Google?  I'd bet there are.  I personally would not want to
take the risk, but that's me.

Paul