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standards among the IP detritus

IBM and Microsoft just submitted SOAP Security Extensions: Digital
Signature to the W3C as a Note:

The submission request (http://www.w3.org/Submission/2001/01/) contains
some odd language from both Microsoft and IBM:

IBM states that:
>IBM may own patents or patent applications which apply to the 
>SOAP Security Extensions: Digital Signature specification being 
>submitted to the W3C. If implementation of a W3C standard based 
>on the SOAP Security Extensions: Digital Signature specification 
>requires the use of IBM patents, IBM will grant, upon written 
>request, a non-exclusive license under such patents on reasonable 
>and non-discriminatory terms.

Apart from the usual patent mess, note the use of the phrase 'W3C standard'.

Microsoft states that:
>Microsoft further agrees that, upon adoption of this contribution 
>as a Standard, Microsoft will grant to any a license on reasonable 
>and non-discriminatory terms under applicable Microsoft intellectual 
>property rights essential to implement and use the technology proposed 
>in this contribution in products that comply with the Standard but only 
>for the purpose of complying with the Standard. Microsoft expressly 
>reserves all other rights it may have in the material and subject 
>matter of this contribution.

Here, note the use of the phrase 'Standard', complete with capital S.

Any thoughts on what this means for the W3C's continuing claims that they
are not in the standards-making business?  One possible reading of
'Standard' would suggest a trip to ISO, but I strongly suspect that's not
what they have in mind.

Also, the contingent nature of these IP transfers - if you make this a W3C
standard, you can have the IP, otherwise we retain the rights to sue
everyone - are deeply troubling.

Simon St.Laurent - Associate Editor, O'Reilly and Associates
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
XHTML: Migrating Toward XML
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books