Re: [rtcweb] Proposal for H.263 baseline codec

Silvia Pfeiffer <> Thu, 29 March 2012 17:13 UTC

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From: Silvia Pfeiffer <>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 10:12:52 -0700
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To: Stephan Wenger <>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Proposal for H.263 baseline codec
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Very interesting discussion. Out of personal curiosity, I have some
questions inline.

On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 7:20 AM, Stephan Wenger <> wrote:
> The most commonly cited timeline for a widely in use technology to be
> "save" from a patent viewpoint, based on equitable defenses such as laches
> (in the US) is six years.

Very interesting to know the usually used limit on the number of
years. IIUC that would make Speex, Vorbis and Theora "save" codecs,
since they were released in 2003, 2000, and 2004 respectively?

> In addition, as I pointed out in the meeting, the use of a video codec
> created by a body such as MPEG or ITU-T SG16 has the advantage of that the
> patents of all participating players are available at least under
> Reasonable and Non Discriminatory (RAND) terms.  This may sound like a Bad
> Thing if you operate under a business model that prevents you to pay
> anything for patent licenses, but it is surely a Good Thing if you are
> willing to dish out a moderate amount of money for a license.

So, what is the situation with H.263 and patent licensing? Is what
Larry wrote in 2003 in this email still valid?
My Web search hasn't turned up any more up-to-date information on
this, so it seems there are several patents associated that are still
valid for H.263 and there is no patent pool for it, thus requiring
every user of H.263 to come to separate license arrangements with each
patent holder?

Note: These are just questions of clarification - I am not implying
any codec preferences in this email.