We already knew that between MPEG-LA, Via Licensing and others, MPEG-4 and the H.264 codec were already awash with patent holders and complicated royalty systems, but it looks like there's a new kid on the block that wants its share of Apple, CyberLink, DivX, InterVideo and Sonic Solutions pie. Fresh from its SBC merger, AT&T is going after the big iPod bucks claiming that the device infringes on their patents which they claim are "a core component of MPEG-4." AT&T claims that they're not just after the money and that they're looking to "make sure others are able to take advantage of this technology," but they also state: "what we're doing is pretty common among intellectual property holders," which isn't exactly comforting given the tech industry's history with such things.

[Via iLounge]

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AT&T claims MPEG-4 patent infringement, wants Apple to pay up