Notes left by execs
If those notes exist, and they can prove they were written by Google execs, Google is going to end up owing a lot of money regardless of the validity of the patents.
Tech firm Max Sound has filed a new lawsuit against Google and YouTube over a video-streaming patent used in new Nexus devices. The firm has added a suit in Mannheim in Germany to two other patent suits filed earlier this year in Delaware and California and a fourth suit filed in Berlin’s district court. Max Sound claims that …
I guess it depends on what the notes are about. If the notes just outright say "We're stealing this shit!", then sure. But if the notes are about a certain aspect of their code that isn't patented, for instance printf(...), it would depend on where printf() is and how it's used.
I don't know, there just really isn't a way we can know who is guilty or not unless we see the actual code Vs. code. Then, even if it's clear to us, you still have the lawyers. This is sort of like SCO Vs. IBM (at least in the beginning), we only knew what the accusations were, and how each sides lawyers perceived them. In that case, I think they were down to something like 8 lines of infringement, which I'm not even sure if those were infringing.
Oh, and WTF does the Don't be Evil mantra have to do with anything? This is like suing Coca-Cola for infringement on the word "Enjoy"...the mantra is just a company line, not a standard to be taken as something that can be held accountable in court.
BTW, I like the big ass story poster, I just don't like the fact I can't figure out how to change the story poster...no arrows or anything like that.
Actually, I think the big ass story poster is a nice touch in a new'ish directiong. Props to whoever came up with it (now just give me my navigational arrows back!)
Now that Google is full partner with MPEG-LA, these nuisance suits are gnats. Google have their own fully vetted patent portfolio for VPx, and are protected by the patent pool for H.26x. These stories of some lone video patent gunman might be interesting in the one in a billion chance that the lawyers actually get paid. In the mean time Google is well served by their strategy: we do not negotiate with conmen or terrorists.
Doesn't help if the patent holder is not part of MPEG LA's patent pool, which Max Sound and VSL are not. Presumably they are suing Google / YouTube because they have the deepest pockets, but if successful you can expect every one of MPEG LA's licensees to get sued as well.
MPEG LA is a *voluntary* grouping of patent holders who have chosen to offer licences for their patents as a group. There is no compulsion for any patent holder to join and there can still be submarine patents held by anyone else. If the holder participated in the standardisation process, they're supposed to offer the patents on a FRAND basis, but if the standard accidentally includes something that was patented by a third party, all implementers could be liable for heavy royalties and discriminatory behaviour.
It is simply not practical to have a fully-vetted standard. There are too many patents issued every year even for experts to keep up, and they're not readable by engineers so there's really no telling what might turn out to be considered an infringement.
Still, I think it's better to go with standards that are developed in the open with the opportunity for patents to be disclosed and either worked around, or held under FRAND promises (though this may not be worth much when companies demand huge percentages of sale price from every vendor - it's not discriminatory if you're screwing everyone). VPx and other privately-developed encodings will always suffer more from submarine patents than the ISO/IEC/ITU families.
"In its US lawsuits, the company claims that Google met with VSL over several months to discuss the possibility of acquiring its patented tech and proprietary methods, during which time it had access to technical guidance about the products."
one possible interpretation - "They were looking at buying us but walked away, waaaaaaah, we want our $2B buyout........"
other possible interpretation - "We were negotiating an agreement, and they offered us peanuts, we want roast beef dammit"
another possible interpretation - "Its our damned code they used, they saw the code, they must have used it!!!"
Sadly - the only winners in these things are the lawyers.
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