[whatwg] Codecs (was Re: Apple Proposal for Timed Media Elements)

Gareth Hay gazhay at gmail.com
Fri Mar 23 04:59:53 PDT 2007

Hi Christian,

My main concern is simply to avoid the issue altogether.
I do agree that patents exist and have been granted, but I just can't  
see how they are ever going to be enforced at all.
For example, a patent issued in the US is infringed by a UK company,  
where the patent would not be held up by current UK law, (or worse  
*may* be valid in the UK but not under EU law), where is the case  
heard? Who's law applies?

I know this is a trivial example, but I would just prefer to not have  
to feed a lawyer's pockets over this issue.


On 23 Mar 2007, at 11:49, Christian F.K. Schaller wrote:

> Hi Gareth,
> This is a strange way of looking at the issue. Once a patent is  
> granted
> it is by definition valid and enforceable. It is the people  
> opposing it
> who have to prove their non-legality at that point and not the  
> other way
> around. So sure a lot of software patents might be challenged around
> Europe, but the main burden of proving they are non-valid falls on the
> people opposing the patent and not the patent holder. So until someone
> have successfully challenged all the patents involved and gotten them
> found invalid they are by definition valid. A granted patent is valid
> until a court of law finds it invalid, not invalid until a court of  
> law
> finds it valid.
> Be aware that I do not support the idea of software patents, not in  
> the
> slightest, but one have to accept that in many places around the world
> they are 'the law of the land'. One should work to change the law, not
> pretend it doesn't exist.
> Christian
> On Fri, 2007-03-23 at 10:30 +0000, Gareth Hay wrote:
>> As i said in a previous post, this is a very grey area.[1][2]
>> So much so that many of the granted patents are being opposed, and
>> until the outcome of these oppositions, neither one of us can comment
>> on the true legality of them.
>> I would suggest backing away from any such areas where software
>> patentability becomes an issue. Case law hasn't sufficiently
>> established the legality in my country, europe and many, many
>> territories.
>> [1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patents#In_Europe
>> [2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
>> Software_patents_under_the_European_Patent_Convention#Inventive_step_ 
>> tes
>> t
>> On 23 Mar 2007, at 10:02, Christian F.K. Schaller wrote:
>>> It is an Urban Legend that there are no software patents in the EU.
>>> True
>>> enough there is no 'EU' software patents, but a lot of member
>>> states do
>>> have them. I suggest going the MPEG LA's webpage and looking at the
>>> patent lists they have there for MPEG4. You will notice that a  
>>> lot of
>>> the patents are from EU countries.
>>> Christian
>>> On Fri, 2007-03-23 at 08:35 +0000, Gareth Hay wrote:
>>>> Not in the EU, no such thing as a software patent.
>>>> On 23 Mar 2007, at 04:55, Ian Hickson wrote:
>>>>> On Fri, 23 Mar 2007, Robert Sayre wrote:
>>>>>> MPEG-4 is proprietary, because it is covered by patents.
>>>>> I hate to be the one to break this to you, but CSS is covered by
>>>>> patents,
>>>>> HTML is covered by patents, the DOM is covered by patents,
>>>>> JavaScript is
>>>>> covered by patents, and so forth. Proprietary technologies are
>>>>> those that
>>>>> are under the control of a single vendor. MPEG-4 is not  
>>>>> proprietary.
>>>>> It's not available under royalty free licensing. But it is not
>>>>> under the
>>>>> control of a single vendor. That is the important difference, not
>>>>> whether
>>>>> the technology is patented or not.
>>>>> -- 
>>>>> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )
>>>>> \._.,--....,'``.    fL
>>>>> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _
>>>>> \  ;`._ ,.
>>>>> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--
>>>>> (,_..'`-.;.'
>>> -- 
>>> Business Development Manager
>>> Fluendo S.A.
>>> Office Phone: +34 933175153
>>> Mobile Phone: +34 678608328
> -- 
> Business Development Manager
> Fluendo S.A.
> Office Phone: +34 933175153
> Mobile Phone: +34 678608328

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