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Re: (Second) Last Call for XPointer 1.0

At 09:35 AM 09/01/01 -0500, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> It's 
>also come to light in this draft that Sun claims a patent on some of 
>the technologies needed to implement XPointer.
>I think this is particularly offensive 

Offensive or not, it's a big problem.

I personally think that there might be a place in the world for 
some software patents (not all the arguments in favor of them 
are bogus) but the PTO risks making the point moot in devaluing
whatever currency might be there by stamping their official
seal on this kind of thing.

The responsible thing for Sun to do would be to issue an
official declaration that the patent has no standing in respect
of XPointer, and that to the extent that it does, Sun grants
an unrestricted, free, license to anyone to implement and use
it without incurring any obligations of any kind on account
of the patent.   Were they to do this, they'd deserve our

Without this, if you happen to be a competitor of Sun, can 
you implement XPointer and be confident that you won't 
be subject to expensive product-delaying litigation?  Could I, 
as an executive of such a company, responsibly place any 
nontrivial bets on XPointer?  I don't think so.

XPointer, D.O.A.