Nokia’s VP8 patent claims: we’ve been here before
This raises a simple question: why do companies file these IPR declarations if the patents enclosed do not apply? The Xiph.org Foundation’s Christopher “Monty” Montgomery explains this quite well:
We deal with this in the IETF all the time. Someone files a draft and a slew of companies file IPR statements that claim they have patents that ’may’ read on the draft. Unlike other SDOs though, the IETF requires them to actually list the patent numbers so we can analyze and refute. And despite unequivocal third-party analyses stating ’there is no possibility patent X applies’, these companies still present their discredited IPR statements to ’customers’ and mention that these customers may be sued if they don’t license. This is not the exception; this is standard operating procedure in the industry. This style of licensing, for example, accounts for more than half of Qualcomm’s total corporate income.
The root of the problem is that while these intellectual property rights declarations have no legal standing, they are free and simple to make, and there’s no obligation whatsoever to actually defend these statements. The press and bloggers automatically assume the declarations are valid, write their articles from said viewpoint, and thus, ’fear, uncertainty, and doubt’ is born, which can then be exploited by companies such as Qualcomm.