Amidst news that Google has adopted a new logo (and everything that comes along with that), Sundar Pichai let slip that Google is joining the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and others to form the Alliance for Open Media (AOM). The organization's goal is to collaborate on open and royalty-free digital formats for "next-generation ultra high definition media." In other words, it will develop new image, audio, and video codecs and container formats that are totally free for non-commercial and commercial use.
The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:
- Interoperable and open;
- Optimized for the web;
- Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
- Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
- Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
- Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.
Did you think the Angry Birds movie was an insane bit of zealous over-licensing at the peak of a mobile gaming fad? You ain't seen nothing yet. According to IGN, Cut The Rope developer ZeptoLab has partnered with production company Blockade Entertainment to create a computer animated movie based on the game's adorable monster protagonist Om Nom. Om Nom: The Movie is currently scheduled to release in 2016, notably the same year that the Angry Birds movie will hit theaters.
The official synopsis for the movie makes surprisingly little mention of ropes or candy, and sounds like an E.T. rip-off that came 30 years too late:
Om Nom tells the story of 13-year old Evan, a boy whose impulsiveness leads him to open a secret package containing a living scientific experiment - with mischievous intentions!
Since the recent update to MX Player, many users are running into a new problem: there's no sound in certain videos. It turns out the latest release of the popular video player removed support for two audio codecs: AC3 and MLP. Unfortunately, it seems this is a result of licensing issues, meaning MX Player will no longer ship with built-in support to play these audio formats. However, there is a simple workaround that will get things working again with relatively little hassle.
Restoring functionality is pretty simple, it only involves downloading a custom-built codec and pointing MX Player to the right file. Read More
Following its similar deal with Samsung earlier this year, Google has just entered a cross-licensing patent agreement with South Korea's second largest smartphone manufacturer, LG Electronics. The deal covers both companies' current patents and those filed over the next ten years. The patents in question span "a broad range of products and technologies" as per LG's press release.
LG's relationship with Google has been solid over the past couple of years, with the company getting chosen to develop two Nexus devices. So it's no surprise that the agreement being championed by both parties. Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google said that "by working together on cross-licenses like this, companies can focus on bringing great products and services to consumers around the world." And LG Electronics Intellectual Property Center's executive vice president, J. Read More
It wasn't that long ago when Google announced that it had entered a cross-licensing deal with Samsung, and just two days ago, it entered one with Cisco as well. Not to be left out, Samsung announced today that it, too, had signed a deal with Cisco. As a part of this deal, both companies will have access to the other's patent portfolios for the next ten years.
Like the deals that came before, this agreement aims to reduce the risk of unnecessary patent lawsuits in the future. In March of last year, Google started an initiative called the Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge, which provides a pool of patents the company owns that it won't sue anyone ever as long as everyone's playing along nicely. Read More
Through its official global blog, Samsung today announced a new patent licensing deal reached with Google, whereby both companies will have access to each other's existing patents and those filed over the next ten years, covering "a broad range of technologies and business areas."
The cross-licensing agreement is described by Google's Deputy General Counsel for Patents, Allen Lo, as one that will help the two giants "reduce the potential for litigation, and focus instead on innovation." Indeed that has been a popular refrain as both Google and Samsung have historically faced (and continue to face) patent challenges from various other companies on various grounds. Read More
It would appear that the patent battle between HTC and Apple, which has been going on since early 2010, is finally closed, with the two companies agreeing to opt for a ten-year licensing agreement.
The dispute began over two years ago when Apple levied a complaint regarding twenty patents at HTC, claiming infringement. Of course after that the two slapped each other with dispute after dispute, and the fight has boiled on ever since. The sudden conclusion comes as something of a shock, since – as the Verge reports – HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang said just three months ago the Taiwanese manufacturer had no plans to settle its spat with Apple. Read More
Chances are, most of you only ever hear about Epix in an article discussing streaming rights (like this one). Epix is an online streaming video service a la Netflix that you can only get access to if you have a cable bundle that includes the site. Or, you know, if you have Netflix. For now anyway. The real value of Epix is the stable of movie rights it brings to the table, and now the joint venture is sharing its media library with Amazon Instant Video for all of the online retail giant's Prime customers.
According to Amazon, the deal will "more than double the number of titles available" to its customers who subscribe to the Prime service. Read More
Yesterday, Microsoft announced its latest Android licensing deal with Taiwanese manufacturer Compal, marking the company's tenth such agreement to date. While such a small manufacturer in terms of market share makes little overall difference in Microsoft's profits derived from Android, its deals with HTC and Samsung, combined with various smaller manufacturers like Compal, means it now receives royalties from over half of all Android smartphones sold in the US (the figure may be even larger on a global scale).
The major holdouts on the graphic above are Motorola Mobility and LG, though Moto is obviously the majority of that 47% chunk of green. Read More
It certainly seems like it. Yesterday, Microsoft announced via blog that it had concluded negotiations with Samsung and reached a licensing deal for the same seven patents it previously licensed to HTC for Android (along with other, smaller Android manufacturers). There were rumblings about just what royalty rate Samsung is paying, but the guess is anywhere from $5 to $15 per handset (it's likely on a percentage-of-MSRP basis - so think about 1-3% per $500 MSRP phone).
When it comes to royalty agreements, rates are usually internally fixed regarding certain categories of IP to avoid confusion about damages in lawsuits, but when there are allegations of continued infringement, the game changes. Read More