Washington – The U.S. Justice Department and California Attorney General
are investigating whether patent licensing group MPEG LA, which oversees the
H.264 video codec, is unfairly stifling Google’s (NASD: GOOG) rival VP8 codec and WebM
platform, The Wall Street Journal reported. After Google announced it would
make VP8 and WebM royalty-free last year, MPEG LA took steps to examine whether
VP8 utilizes any of its member companies’ own patents.
"We do not believe
VP8 is patent-free," MPEG LA told CNET.
"Time and again MPEG LA’s
model has been tested not just in the marketplace, but in the courts by those
seeking any possible way to avoid their intellectual property obligations or
other axes to grind, and each time, MPEG LA has prevailed," the