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Re: Sun IPR statement on XPointer

It is difficult to respond to a post which does not give specific context, 
but I think it is unhelpful to propagate misunderstandings, and I think the 
quoted e-mail is a misunderstanding.

If the quote references this:

  One precondition of any license granted
  to a party shall be the party's agreement to grant royalty-free licenses to
  Sun and other companies to make, use, sell, offer for sale, or import
  implementations of XPointer under the party's essential patent claims.

then my reading is quite different.  There is nothing in the precondition 
that says a licensee (the party) has to give Sun the rights to redistribute 
any given implementation developed by the party.  My reading is that the 
granting of licenses to utilize patented methods in the implementation etc. 
of XPointer must be mutual.  That is, Sun is willing to grant this license, 
and that anyone else who might have patents affecting XPointer must grant a 
similar license if they wish to do anything with XPointer.

I don't think this is unreasonable, but I am a concerned that the actual 
terms of the putative license are left open.


On Wednesday 25 April 2001 12:33 pm, AndrewWatt2000@aol.com wrote:
> Here is another comment about specific concerns relating to Sun's document
> which was forwarded to me off list as the writer didn't want to comment in
> an attributable way (but with permission to post on list).
> Quote begins here:
> > I think more disturbing might be the precondition in the second paragraph
> > below that states that if you, as a licensee, implement XPointer, you've
> > giving them, and anybody else they deem acceptable, the rights to
> > redistribute it in any way they wish.  In effect, a type of enforced open
> > source.  It may be that they're enclosing a poison pill for Microsoft.  I
> > can see Sun's point, but it would make me think twice before I spent
> > development costs on an implementation.
> Perhaps patent lawyers would provide reassurance about such initial
> concerns, but for some companies at least it is likely that such a hurdle
> may be a significant disincentive to implement XPointer. It's a pity that
> such potential disincentives to XPointer development remain.
> Andrew Watt

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