I agree completely with your comments about open file formats, and where any IP regarding the format (or use thereof) lies in the hands of a single company/individual, waiving any licensing is straightforward. It is amazing how many times this might night be the case. MPEG audio and video is a good example. Technically, the IP (much of it in the form of patents) needed to implement an MPEG player is held by dozens of individuals, companies, and universities. Clearing the IP of encumberences may be difficult, if not impossible.
Particularly for media formats, there are an enormous number of existing patents that cover any implementation of the algorithms, and many more patents are "in the pipeline." The Oog people have been building supposedly unencumbered codecs for audio and video -- whether they have been successful will take years to determine.