Microsoft has championed the H.264 video codec for use in web browsers for some time while its rival Google has been pushing for VP8 as an alternative as part of its WebM project. Now Microsoft has a new, if familiar, ally in trying to fight the VP8 codec: Nokia
FOSS Patents reports that Nokia has published a paper to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that lists 64 patents and 22 pending patent applications that Nokia will not donate to the IETF standard for VP8. Nokia also won't be offering FRAND access to those patents for the codec.
Why? Nokia released a statement to FOSS Patents which claim it supports "open and collaborative efforts for standardization". However, Nokia added that Google's VP8 codec does not qualify for that kind of label, saying:
We are now witnessing one company attempting to force the adoption of its proprietary technology, which offers no advantages over existing, widely deployed standards such as H.264 and infringes Nokia's intellectual property. As a result, we have taken the unusual step of declaring to the Internet Engineering Task Force that we are not prepared to license any Nokia patents which may be needed to implement its RFC6386 specification for VP8, or for derivative codecs.
While the H.264 codec is technically not open source, it was declared royalty free for developers a few years ago. It will be interesting to see how Google formally responds to Nokia's actions.