Summary: A Mannheim court impedes Nokia’s assault on Free software, letting WebM stay free and GPL-compatible
Germany made a lot of headlines when its politicians called for the end of software patents [1, 2]. They were not alone. Professor Becker [1, 2], for example (German name but US citizen) continues to generate headlines to this effect (most of the media is occupied with patent trolls) and the Nokia assault on WebM/VP8 (through MPEG-LA) has just fallen flat on its face in Germany. To quote the WebM project site:
Today a court in Mannheim, Germany, ruled that VP8 does not infringe a patent owned and asserted by Nokia. This decision is an important and positive step towards the WebM Project’s ultimate goal: ensuring the web community has an open, high-quality, freely licensed video codec. Google’s intervention in the underlying lawsuit (Nokia v. HTC) was a strong show of support for open standards like VP8.