updated 03:20 pm EDT, Mon March 25, 2013
IETF submission claims 64 patents relevant, refusing access
Efforts by Google to make its VP8 video codec a "licensing-free" alternative standard to H.264 have stalled again, courtesy of Nokia. The phone manufacturer is claiming that 64 patents and 22 applications it controls are relevant to the WebM codec, and it is refusing to donate nor offer FRAND access to the patents, according to an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) submission.
A Nokia spokesperson confirmed to FOSS Patents that the move is an "unusual step," and that it is in the best interests of the Internet that it does so. Commenting on Google's approach, the representative claimed "We are now witnessing one company attempting to force the adoption of its proprietary technology, which offers no advantages over existing, widely deployed such as H.264, and infringes Nokia's intellectual property."
Earlier this month, Google completed negotiations with MPEG LA over the use of its patents for the VP8 codec, with the agreement granting Google the right to sublicense the codec to others. Giving Google the reins to the codec may be perceived by Nokia as a way for the search engine to exert a far greater level of control over the Internet, on top of its existing dominance in various markets.