MPEG LA is calling off the patent pool
Google bought VP8 in 2010 before open-sourcing the technology, but MPEG LA had stated publicly that it felt the codec infringed upon some of its patented technologies. MPEG LA licenses the technologies at the heart of an assortment of different video codecs and formats, including H.264 and MPEG-2. MPEG LA had gone so far as to start the process of forming a patent pool to go after Google for said infringement; with today's agreement, it will cease those efforts.
The agreement covers both VP8 and previous generations of the codec, and also affords Google the opportunity to use those techniques in one additional generation of the VPx family — an important consideration given that Google has already built VP9 into its Chromium web browser. While the licensing agreement isn't a direct admission that VP8 wasn't as unencumbered as had once been advertised, at the very least it's a clear signal that Google is more interested in pushing forward with its own set of preferred standards — even if there's an associated cost — rather than getting embroiled in a string of patent lawsuits.