OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[xml-dev] [OT; LONG] ISO screw specs ( was: W3C Rants (was: RE: W3C asGold en Goose ...))

Champion, Mike wrote on Thu 10/4/2001 10:51 AM (EDT):
> <snip>  The original
> XML WG did a lot more than "put a stamp on it," but I'm sure
> this was true of the ISO technical committees that standardized
> screw thread specifications as well. </snip>

I offer the below for your reading pleasure.  When I read Mike's 
comment, I recalled a set of notes I wrote back in June 6, 1999
that actually covered patents and screws and XML.  I did this 
while taking a law course for my MBA.  Seems what I 
wrote back then applies to the RAND discussions.  These 
notes were written at the time when the Microsoft antitrust case 
was getting heavy, and the Priceline patent having been 
recently issued.  I had no idea of XPATH, XSD or for that matter
SVG when I wrote these notes.  I did not edit these notes, so 
hold any fire for assumptions made back then.  IANAL, so the
arguments could be invalid.

Ralph Hilken

See: Berners-Lee Calls For Curbs On Internet Patents at:

Patent on wedge around a cylinder.

Over time, could have another patent on metal wedge around metal 
cylinder as an improvement over wood based invention (say metal was 
able to exert 10,000 psi vs. wood only 2,000psi, a measurable 

Can I patent 10 wedges per inch of screw?  How about 11 wedges per 
inch?  [wedges per inch is thread pitch].  Why not be the first to patent
thread pitches?  I assume pitch is not patentable because that was not the 
novel idea that no one was able to implement before.  Once a thread was 
built and that knowledge publicized, anyone with thread building 
capability could make screws with any thread pitch.  In other words, new 
thread pitches does not correlate to new inventions.

A new problem arises.  My 10 thread per inch nut will not work with your 
11 thread per inch screw.

So we can have now NIST B1.1-1982 / BS 3643 / ISO 724, who set 
standards.  Even come up with unified series of pitches (coarse, fine).
Everyone is happy, industry and commerce can proceed along...

Pitches have characteristics.  Fine pitch has lots of control, less
Coarse pitch has less control, but more strength, gets screwed quicker too 
[couldn't resist :)].

Use coarse pitch bolts on bridges,  fine pitch screws on robot arms.
Nothing to stop me from swapping either one, but commonsense based on 
experience does provide guidance.

I can patent robot arms that used fine pitched screws (and lots of other 
things) if I were the first to create a remote control device.

What else can I do with screws?
Add them to systems with rotating parts, allows better control over them.

Do I see NIST / BS / ISO patenting threads (not their invention), pitches, 
or any derivation of them?

Mark up languages (SGML / XML):

What is the invention?  Labeling data with tags.

Now that I have documents with tags, I (and everyone else in the universe) 
can do all sorts of things with them.

A new problem arises.  My tags wrapped in parentheses do not work with 
your parser looking for tags wrapped with angle brackets.

So we can have now ISO / W3C, who set standards / recommendations.  
Even come up with groups of labeled tag systems (SGML, XML)

SGML vs. XML is like 10 threads per inch vs. 11 threads per inch.  

Labeled documents have characteristics.  SGML has lots of control, but 
more complex to use.  XML has less control, but simpler to use, and gets 
done quicker too.  

Use XML to list my CD collection, SGML to document airplane 
maintenance procedures
Nothing to stop me from swapping either one, but commonsense based on 
experience does provide guidance.

I can patent e-commerce app that used XML (and lots of other things) to
disparate businesses to transact with each other, if I were the first to
that remote control device.

What else can I do with tagged documents?
Display content via internet, allows for wide distribution.

So why are we able to consider patenting any derived aspect of 
tagged documents?  Is that not the same as patenting 11 pitch screws?  Is 
there anything that cannot be wrapped in tags that has not been done, only 
because no one has the need for it now.  But when the need does arise, and 
an awareness of the idea is realized, the knowledge already exists for one 
to be able to create it.  Along the lines of "anyone with thread building 
capability could make screws with any thread pitch"  So, what is the new 
invention then?