12 companies own patents essential to Google's VP8 codec

MPEG LA announced the call for parties to come forward if they had patents essential to Google's VP8 video codec earlier this year. The codec is central to WebM, the video file format that competes with the expensive H.264 format. For those who do not know, MPEG LA manages patents for motion pictures and video, according to Ars Technica. Well, a deadline came and went with no word from MPEG LA. 

A spokesman for MPEG LA did an interview with Streaming Media, saying that companies had come forward and identified patents that are essential to the VP8 codec. When pressured further, the representative stated the following:

Those patent holders found to have at least one essential patent were invited to discuss and determine the possible creation of a pool license and the terms of any such license. Thus far, 12 parties have been found to have patents essential to the VP8 standard. Generally, parties may submit patents for evaluation of essentiality to VP8 at any time during the process of facilitating a patent pool, and may continue to do so after the pool launches, assuming one is formed.

Google did issue a statement on the matter, saying that they are committed to the WebM standard and encourage companies to become involved. It remains to be seen whether a patent pool will be formed and if they would sue the 600-pound gorilla that is Google. After spending 105 million dollars to acquire the technology, Google isn't likely to give it up.

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