In order to participate in the creation of, and determine licensing terms for, a joint VP8 patent license, any party that believes it has patents that are essential to the VP8 video codec specification is invited to submit them for a determination of their essentiality by MPEG LAs patent evaluators. At least one essential patent is necessary to participate in the process, and initial submissions should be made by March 18, 2011. Although only issued patents will be included in the license, in order to participate in the license development process, patent applications with claims that their owners believe are essential to the specification and likely to issue in a patent also may be submitted.
Google recently announced that it will drop support for the H.264 video codec from its Chrome browser in favor of VP8. Many see this as simply a tactic in its war with Apple. This will force users to have Flash installed to play H.264 which is by far the most common video format.
Google is touting VP8 as an open source codec; however, many have noted that VP8 draws heavily from other sources and likely does not qualify as open source. The MPEG LA's patent call is the first step determining whether VP8 is really royalty free.
Read More [via DigitalDaily]