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Nokia Officially Lists Patents Google's VP8 Allegedly Infringes 180

Posted by timothy
from the broken-system-is-broken dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google just settled video codec patent claims with MPEG LA and its VP8 format, which it wants to be elevated to an Internet standard, already faces the next round of patent infringement allegations. Nokia submitted an IPR declaration to the Internet Engineering Task Force listing 64 issued patents and 22 pending patent applications it believes are essential to VP8. To add insult to injury, Nokia's declaration to the IETF says NO to royalty-free licensing and also NO to FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing. Nokia reserves the right to sue over VP8 and to seek sales bans without necessarily negotiating a license deal. Two of the 86 declared IPRs are already being asserted in Mannheim, Germany, where Nokia is suing HTC in numerous patent infringement cases. A first VP8-related trial took place on March 8 and the next one is scheduled for June 14. In related Nokia-Google patent news, the Finns are trying to obtain a U.S. import ban against HTC to force it to disable tethering (or, more likely, to pay up)."
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Nokia Officially Lists Patents Google's VP8 Allegedly Infringes

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe then, the US Congress will finally take notice and do something serious about patent reform.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      The winning strategy has never been to list the patents up front. As long as they do that, people will now go about invalidating them. VP8 was already designed to work around patent restricions - one of the few software projects to take that strategy.
      • by Carewolf (581105) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @06:15PM (#43259989) Homepage

        The winning strategy has never been to list the patents up front.

        Well, the FUD strategy has been to never list the patents. If you actually do have patents there is no good reason not to list them. One of the big problems with software patents is exactly that they can be so broad that working around them is actually impossible.

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

      You really think the US congress cares about anything but the oodles of money they got from MAFIAA ??

      • This is a patent issue, not copyright. They are indebted to their corporate masters, but different ones. The US is still home to many of the tech industry giants (Intel, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, etc) - and strong patent laws at home and around the world make sure those industry giants stay giant, rather than being displaced by upstarts from competing countries. Similar situation in drug development. It's basic economic protectionism, and every government does it to some extent. It's only common sense to prote

    • by node 3 (115640)

      Maybe then, the US Congress will finally take notice and do something serious about patent reform.

      What's the worst that can happen here? Google can no longer distribute or license WebM video/codecs/players, and everyone goes back to using H.264 (and soon, H.265)?

      Isn't that how things already are? So, the "havoc" is that things are the same???

  • by digitig (1056110) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @05:47PM (#43259813)
    The making-and-selling-mobile-phones business model hasn't been working so well for Nokia of late. so maybe they're switching to SCO's business model.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @06:05PM (#43259917)

      "What Nokia is doing here is simply the normal course of business if a patent holder (Nokia) does not share the vision of another company (Google) with respect to a proposed standard and reserves all rights. What motivation could Nokia possibly have to donate something to a Google initiative? None. No motivation, no obligation, no license. Simple as that"

      quoted from http://www.fosspatents.com/2013/03/setback-for-googles-vp8-nokia-refuses.html

      • Hey Florian! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by symbolset (646467) *
        How is consulting for Microsoft and Oracle working out?
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        They could collect license fees on what looks to be the big new video format. They have plenty of motivation, so I can only assume there is some reason they want to scupper it.

        • by node 3 (115640)

          They could collect license fees on what looks to be the big new video format.

          That's amazingly lolworthy. WebM "looks to be the big new video format"? It's significantly worse than H.264, while H.265 (which raises the bar) is right around the corner!

          They have plenty of motivation, so I can only assume there is some reason they want to scupper it.

          Yes, money. And a sense of ownership (it's their patents, after all). And probably at least a bit of just wanting to fuck with Google for kicks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Yuck. Kinda makes you wonder how many other companies MS will puppet in the same way before they go under.
    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @06:29PM (#43260075)

      Could be quite bad if they do. Nokia's set of patents is a lot larger than SCO's was, and covers more recent things.

  • by russotto (537200) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @05:54PM (#43259851) Journal

    So Nokia apparently has some trash "routing data from one network to another ON A MOBILE DEVICE" patent, and Florian Mueller is breathless about it. What's new?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @05:59PM (#43259881)
    Google said that VP8 is patent free!
    • Re: Not possible! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Google said that Google Wave is the future of email.

      Yeah. Right.

  • by Curupira (1899458) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @06:08PM (#43259949)
    Almost every single link in the summary leads to fosspatents.com, home of the infamous shill Florian Mueller [techrights.org]. I guess I'll wait for more credible sources, thanks.
  • by sjames (1099) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @06:09PM (#43259959) Homepage

    SCOkia is going belly up!

  • Jesus! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @06:10PM (#43259963)

    Enough of this shit. You want to know what hurts innovation? Shit like this. No one knows what petty (or even not petty) patents they're going to infringe upon if they try to make anything, so they just don't bother.

  • Surely with VP8 being around for about 5 years now iirc any pending patents must have been lodges after VP8?

    Can Nokia expect to win when the software they are trying to shut down with patents is usable as prior art to invalidate the same patents?

    • by Luckyo (1726890) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @06:36PM (#43260121)

      Nokia has been in phone business and phone related software business since the start. One could argue that they started the business in the first place and would be at least partially right.

      They most definitely hold at least some patents that came to be before google was formed. And a whole lot more from time after google was formed but before it purchased android.

      The problem is how they are choosing to use them. Normally you'd just negociate a licensing agreement and be done with it. But here, they're actually patent trolling. "We don't share the vision and do not want to help". So we sue to block. Ouch.

      That's not the way nokia of old got to be on top. Elop and his microsoftism shines through.

      • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @07:00PM (#43260225)

        I think at this point, we can all look back on their history and realize that patents suck. Their concept was noble... protect the new inventor from having his invention stolen by a large corporation. But in practice, that happens anyway. Whomever has the most money for lawyers wins. The inventor of something is completely irrelevant at this point. Patents are nothing more than a legal artifice used by corporations to siphon money from one another. So lets just give it up, drop patent law and see how it goes. It can't be any worse than what we have now.

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          Most of the modern "intellectual property" related legislation sucks at this point for one simple reason: it went from "give creative people more incentive to be creative" to "how can big conglomerates maximize profits by exploiting both authors and consumers as much as possible".

          Because authors and artists get screwed under modern legislation almost as badly as consumers do.

      • Nokia is not a patent troll by any reasonable definition. They are a practicing entity who developed their own technology and has been in this from the beginning.

        Patent trolls rarely sue to block. As non-practicing entities there would be no commercial reason for that sort of behavior.

        This is going to be a mess unless Google just buys Nokia.

        • by jcdr (178250) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @07:53PM (#43260489)

          Nokia is not a patent troll by any reasonable definition.

          This was certainly true for a long part of the Nokia history. But the actual Nokia is something that have lost an extremely large amount of connections with the Nokia "mobile phone world leader" of the past. We are now forced to take notice that the actual Nokia is more and more close to the definition of patent troll. The latest new just confirm this trend.

          • Nokia is still a major cell phone company. While they missed the boat with their smartphones, they still have large market share in other areas.

            Nokia is actually 2nd to only Samsung in total phone sales, and has a world wide market share of 20%.

            The idea they are a patent troll is completely and 100% absurd.

            • by SpzToid (869795) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @02:32AM (#43261699)

              Methinks both the eric conspiracy and jcdr are correct in their assertions. Nokia of late, under Elop is has both business models in use at the moment: selling phones to the developing world *and* patent trolling.

              This btw is the same guy that sold the Nokia headquarters building, while agreeing to lease it back long-term.

              He closed several factories in Europe, sending production (and build-quality) to Asia.

              He's has and is paid many millions, although he's only been with the company just a few years. Coincidentally he came from Microsoft with millions of MS shares in the bank. He's Ballmer's Tool.

            • by jcdr (178250)

              The idea they are a patent troll is completely and 100% absurd.

              If you listen to a large amount of comments about Nokia this last two years, you will probably notice a dramatic increase of opinions that there is a lot of absurdities in the actual Nokia. The most absurd one is still that Nokia blindly ignore this reality...

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      VP8 is evolved from TrueMotion S, released in 1990. So 22 years, not 5. Google acquired its developer ON2 in 2010.
      • by Pieroxy (222434)

        VP8 is evolved from TrueMotion S, released in 1990. So 22 years, not 5. Google acquired its developer ON2 in 2010.

        Do you mean to say nothing was done on VP8 since 1990 that could possibly infringe any patent Nokia has? Is Google trying to feed us a 23 years old technology to revolutionize youtube?

      • The 'evolved' part is sure to matter. There must be a lot of new techniques added. Even if there weren't, I expect many of those patents are of the 'X, but on a mobile device' form. Not the strongest of patents, but throw enough of them into court and a few are going to survive challenge just on luck alone.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          While I admire your point you already know it was lost in the noise. It may raise its head in the 9th circuit- or not.
    • by Lennie (16154)

      Let's see I looked at the one patent filed in my country. Patent filed at 2001, granted in 2011, valid to 2021.

      What I hate the most is these hidden patents which are first filed, but they delay it for as long as possible (so they also remain hidden) and 10 years (!) later they get granted and are valid an other 10 years.

      VP7 is from 2005, VP6 is from 2003, VP5 is from 2002. All based on TrueMotion S created in 1995 or so.

  • 4.5 years after VP8 was released.
    3 years after VP8 was made open source and freely available

  • by eddy (18759) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @06:24PM (#43260047) Homepage Journal

    Can someone please change the "anonymous reader writes" to "The paid shill Florian Mueller? Thanks.

  • ...if it hasn't already (in the US) Assuming it's a valid patent to begin with. 1995 was a long time ago.

  • Real Patent Reform (Score:4, Insightful)

    by slacka (713188) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @07:09PM (#43260279)

    Wow! Back in 1999 after I purchased my first cellphone, one of the first things I did was to investigate how to connect it to my laptop to give me a mobile modem. Sure enough there was serial cable I could buy for it.

    I don't care how early Nokia was to enter the mobile phone market. There is no way they should be able to patent any part this process. I'd rather have no patents at all than grant a 20 year monopoly to some company for tacking "on a mobile device" to some obvious idea like tethering.

    We need real patent reform like:
    * Eliminating Software patents
    * Fix the "obviousness test" and throw out all the existing ones that fail to meet this standard.
    * No patents granted to logical evolution of current technology like tethering
    * Grant a theoretical patent (i.e. where invention has not yet been realized) for no more than 7 years
    * Allow a patent extension/modification upon successful invention
    * Mechanical and physics-technology patents should last no more than 15 years

  • A blog post from "Diary of an X.264 developer" http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/archives/377 [multimedia.cx] looked at VP8 and noted a number of probable infringements. The killer argument, though, was this:

    The spec consists largely of C code copy-pasted from the VP8 source code -- up to and including TODOs, âoeoptimizationsâ, and even C-specific hacks, such as workarounds for the undefined behavior of signed right shift on negative numbers. In many places it is simply outright opaque. Copy-pasted C code is not a sp

  • This isn't going to go well for Nokia. Already no one wants their products and Microsoft has already hinted they'll abandon Windows phone next year. Nokia is now a patent troll with no other business model. Well, it has a business model, but it's so broken it will never recover. Hiring that nitwit Elop. Elost!
  • I used to have tons of respect for Nokia. Then one of their employees got VLC knocked off the Apple App Store for incredibly selfish reasons (certainly didn't help VLCs market share). Now becoming a patent bully in the footsteps of their OS provider. Not pretty.
  • by backslashdot (95548) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @03:24AM (#43261797)

    Country:US:Filing date:19.01.2001, Filing number:09/766035, Pub.number:20010017944, Grant number:NA

    It's disgusting they have patents filed in 2001 that are still pending that means they have will have a monopoly on that particular invention until abotu 2030, due to a loophole in the patent law that states that if the patent takes longer than 2 years to grant .. the time until the actual grant date doesn't count. This allows companies to extract royalties for 30 to even 40 years, especially if they had other patents that were granted for a particular type of technology.

    The US Patent Office is to blame for this mess!!!

  • Seriously, other than a few models Nokia phones have been patently awful. Every project Noka has bought out has ended up turning to absolute crap. They make awful alliances with awful companies. Now pulling tricks with vague algorithm patents? Fucking die Nokia. On and your boots suck too. Just spare us and give up on everything.

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