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 Mar 01, 2005 - 10:00 AM - by Michael
* MS WMV caught on ugly side of software patents

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Rethink have word that MS may, for once, be caught on the ugly side of software patents. It turns out that the codecs used for WMV video use techniques patented by Sony and Philips...

A few weeks back Faultline revealed that the MPEG Licensing Authority was handling claims from 12 separate companies that the technology underlying the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers? (SMPTE) standard, VC 1, relied on their technology, despite the fact that the underlying standard was being pushed only by Microsoft. The MPEG LA put a brave face on this and implied that a negotiation was continuing, to create a ?fair? license for all concerned. At the time the MPEG LA would not reveal the names of the parties - other than Microsoft - that were claiming the technology.
Painful for MS if true... though we've seen this sort of patent problem before. It's similar to when Rambus slipped their tech into the DDR memory scheme without revealing that they had applied for the patent, then tried to extort royalties later.

I almost feel sympathy for MS on this one. Almost.

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