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Re: [W3C Web and TV IG] Adaptive streaming MPEG DASH liaison

From: Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2011 10:39:01 -0700
To: Steve Lhomme <slhomme@matroska.org>
CC: Rob Glidden <rob.glidden@sbcglobal.net>, "Ali C. Begen (abegen)" <abegen@cisco.com>, Gerard Fernando <gerardmxf@yahoo.co.uk>, "juhani.huttunen@nokia.com" <juhani.huttunen@nokia.com>, "hj08.lee@lge.com" <hj08.lee@lge.com>, "public-web-and-tv@w3.org" <public-web-and-tv@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E4F8448D-FE71-4633-9364-AD64A11CBFA3@netflix.com>


Sent from my iPad

On Mar 19, 2011, at 2:54 AM, "Steve Lhomme" <slhomme@matroska.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 11:12 PM, Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com> wrote:
>> There are no known patents AFAIK. If someone turns up with a solid patent
>> and insists they deserve royalties for it, then I've no doubt it will be
>> profiled out. But we are nowhere close to that yet and it's unlikely anyway
>> for the reasons I've described. We should not assume we are in that
>> situation unless and until we actually get there, that is all.
>> ...Mark
> 
> If I find such a patent, should I disclose it ?

If you are an MPEG member I believe you should. Otherwise I think it's up to you. 

> And even if there is
> none known as of today, what is the guarantee there won't be one
> published tomorrow ?

None. That is true of anything, including all W3C recommendations.

But there is at least a requirement on MPEG member companies to disclose essential IPR they are aware of, so any such 'surprise' patents could only come from non-MPEG companies. We can expect such disclosures to be made once the standard is finalized. If DASH was somehow brought into W3C we would also gain the same guarantee (in fact a stringer one) of companies that contributed to that W3C work too.

> In which case the patent holder may well seek
> retribution from a booming business.

'Retribution' is a strange choice of words.

I am not saying we should not seek to ensure that we have RF promises from those with essential IPR in the DASH spec. I am saying it is too soon to say that a formal 'RF profile' in MPEG is needed to achieve that. We should leave the door open for other, better and earlier, outcomes. 

Please note that whether someone asks for royalties for some technology in some future W3C spec is certainly Boolean - they either do or they don't - but it is not the same Boolean as the 'Option 1' box in the MPEG IPR process.

> Among the companies/organisations
> there will be those who can afford to pay anyway, and those who can't
> and will have to abandon the technology and still being threatened for
> having used it in the past, and leave the market to those who can
> afford.
> 
> What are the guarantees that this cannot happen ? Is the MPEG, 3GPP
> and/or W3C responsible for doing a deep patent search to make sure it
> can be declared royalty free ?

No, IANAL but as i understand that is not how it works. Someone not previously involved can appear from nowhere tomorrow with a solid patent on HTML and we just have to deal with it. This whole subject is about risk, not certainty.

> 
> Side Note: shouldn't it be a service provided by patent offices anyway ?

The patent office doesn't even have enough $$$ to do an especially good job of determining whether a patent is valid. They often grant things which are later thrown out in court. A court is the only place you will ever get certainty. This is all my own opinions - you unfortunately need to consult a lawyer to get proper advice on this stuff.

> 
> -- 
> Steve Lhomme
> Matroska association Chairman
> 
Received on Saturday, 19 March 2011 17:39:36 UTC

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