I recently received the following message from a colleague, a respected IP attorney, on LinkedIn.
Hi Jan, hope all’s well. What do you make of Google joining HEVC Advance’s pool (now Access Advance)? Talking to some relevant players, I think it’s a prelude to Chrome supporting HEVC. Do you think it has any implications for AV2 or VVC? Thanks, and hope you have a good holiday.
My colleague was referencing a news announcement you can read here stating that:
Access Advance (“Advance”), an independent licensing administrator, today announced the addition of over 30 Licensees in recent months, including, ARRIS Solutions (a leading set-top box provider), DJI (a leading drone provider), Google (a leading internet-related services and products provider), Hanwha Techwin (a leading surveillance camera provider), OPPO (a leading global smart device brand), Panasonic (a leading multi-national electronics provider), and Panasonic i-PRO Sensing Solutions (a leading security/surveillance solutions and device provider).
Advance also recently welcomed Digital Insights, Google, and IBEX PT Holdings to the HEVC Advance Patent Pool as Licensors. The HEVC Advance Patent Pool now contains over 13,000 HEVC/H.265 essential patents, and of those patents, almost 11,000 are now available in a pool license exclusively through the HEVC Advance Patent Pool.
Here’s what I responded:
Google has HEVC in Android and some consumer products like Chromecast (and Pixel – see comment below) so it’s not a surprise that they signed a license agreement.
If they own IP used in HEVC it makes sense for them to monetize it by joining a pool.
I have no idea what Google is planning to do with Chrome, but the lack of browser support for HEVC is one of AV1’s strongest competitive advantage over HEVC. If Google added HEVC to Chrome it would really hurt the AV1 effort and make them seem like hypocrites. Seems like a long shot to me.
So, I just wanted to put this news out there and learn if anyone had heard anything about Chrome supporting HEVC (or had any other thoughts about the above).