Microsoft is saying that if Google isn't stopped, web video could disappear from smartphones one day. Microsoft filed an anti trust complaint in the EU saying that Google owned Motorola Mobility is unfair using its web video and wireless patents to keep Microsoft products off the shelves and it could ruin the web for everyone. Apple also filed a similar complaint last week. Here's an excerpt from a blog post by a Microsoft lawyer:
You probably take for granted that you can view videos on your smartphone, tablet, PC, or DVD/Blu-ray player and connect to the Internet without being tied to a cable. That works because the industry came together years ago to define common technical standards that every firm can use to build compatible products for video and Wi-Fi. Motorola and all the other firms that contributed to these standards also made a promise to one another: that if they had any patents essential to the standards, they would make their patents available on fair and reasonable terms, and would not use them to block competitors from shipping their products.
Motorola owns the patents to several "essential" web video standards but has agreed to friendly and non-discriminatory licensing (FRAND) of these patents. Microsoft and scores of other companies adopted Motorola's standards for wireless and web video ages ago. The patents are so fundamental that you really can't find a way around them with an alternate technology.
Microsoft says that Motorola and Google are reneging on the FRANDs by taking legal action against companies who use those standards. Foss Patents:
I can see what Apple and Microsoft are complaining about. If every owner of standard-essential patents behaved like Motorola, this industry would be in chaos, and grind to a halt.
According to Microsoft:
For a $1,000 laptop, Motorola is demanding that Microsoft pay a royalty of $22.50 for its 50 patents on the video standard, called H.264. As it turns out, there are at least 2,300 other patents needed to implement this standard. They are available from a group of 29 companies that came together to offer their H.264 patents to the industry on FRAND terms. Microsoft's patent royalty to this group on that $1,000 laptop?
The Leap Motion controller is a USB-sized piece of aluminum that possesses Kinect-like gesture controls. Laptops with integrated Leap Motion tech are rolling production lines, and the company's CEP Michael Buckwald says it's targeting smartphones and tablets next. Read more
In Japan, product designers have created the Neurocam, a "working prototype" that uses their own EEG signals to record animated GIFs via an iPhone strapped to the side of your head (yes, it looks stranger than Google Glass). Read more