Progress cited in MPEG-4 Visual Standard patent talks

The 19 companies that currently stake claims to essential MPEG-4 Visual Standard patents are edging closer to creating a joint patent license that will allow for one-stop legal licensing, the company facilitating the joint patent license said last week.

MPEG LA, LLC, the company helping to negotiate the license, said that the joint patent license could be in place by January, with licensing available shortly thereafter.

The group holding the patents, which calls itself M4VisualPHG, is eager to get the joint patent license hammered out in hopes of quickly spreading the technology, saying that a one-stop license will enable widespread implementation and interoperability for the open-standard technology.

"Our goal is to make this technology ubiquitous," said Lawrence Horn, MPEG LA vice president of licensing and business development and M4VisualPHG spokesman.

MPEG-4 is a multimedia representation standard developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), which develops standards for digital video and digital audio compression. The group also developed MPEG-1, the standard used for interactive video on CD-ROM, and MPEG-2, the compression technology underlying the transmission, storage and display of digitized moving images and soundtracks on which technologies such as DVDs (digital versatile discs) and HDTV (high definition television) are based.

MPEG-4's low bitrate and compression make it particularly suited for mobile devices such as cell phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants). Both cell phone and PDA vendors are currently looking to include digital video streaming, making the market ripe for MPEG-4.

Although M4VisualPHG is keen on spreading the technology, negotiating a joint license among so many patent holders is a slow process.

"There's a lot of pressure to get the license out," Horn said, "and it's still going to take all our effort to get it out by January 2002."

While vendors can still gain lawful access to MPEG-4 by negotiating licenses with each patent holder, that would be a formidable task, he said.

The group hopes that the joint license will fuel the spread of the open-standard technology, and is inviting any other party that believes it has essential patents to MPEG-4 to submit them to an evaluator for inclusion in the joint license.

Given that open-standard technology calls for more and more interoperability across product standards, the industry is likely to see more joint patents in the future, Horn said: "Sometimes it takes a lot of patents to get something to work."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?