The hopes that the VP8 codec at the heart of Google's open source WebM video standard would remain unchallenged in the patent arena are diminishing after the MPEG LA says 12 parties hold patents that its evaluators consider essential to the codec. The disclosure came in a recent interview with StreamingMedia.com. MPEG LA says that, in response to their call for essential patents in February, a number of parties submitted patents for evaluation and twelve of those parties' patents have been examined and found to be essential to VP8.
The parties involved are as yet unnamed and MPEG LA told patent analyst Florian Mueller that "confidentiality precludes [MPEG LA] from disclosing the identity of the owners". Mueller thinks it is likely that there is an overlap between the twelve companies and the members of the MPEG LA AVC/H.264 patent pool.