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RE: [xml-dev] Re: W3C ridiculous new policy on patents
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com>
- To: Benjamin Franz <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
- Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 14:24:58 -0500
Good catch, Benjamin. I should have said "only demanding other's
property for free". I repeat: RF should be preferred
except in extreme cases. Non-RF is an option and requires
rigorous scrutinized process to exercise. The examples
we have seen so far show that unless this is done, we
may get undeserved but approved patents (Sun and XPointer)
and or undeserved and unapproved patents (PICS). The
costs of this for the W3C are large, so yes, a company
must disclose and set RAND terms or it exhaust the
W3C and no one gains from that. Whether or not
punitive action can follow a failure to disclose would
be tested in the courts. Again, an exhaution problem.
The terms of the RAND policy are an issue of flexibility.
The USPTO is the US's problem unless the W3C chooses
to make it the worlds' through using patented technology
in a standard. There are definitely issues that can
be characterized as abuse by individuals and organizations
but that is something the W3C cannot change. It can only
provide policy to its members. Better one that is mature
than one that is flakey. The issue is terms of the policy.
Meanwhile, all of the spec and standards work are under
the stress of uncertainty and that leads to paralysis.
This is true of any organization without a patent policy.
From: Benjamin Franz [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2001 2:08 PM
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Re: W3C ridiculous new policy on patents
On Wed, 10 Oct 2001, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> Patents do not extort. They are licensed. You are
> demanding other's property for free if the W3C
> harvests it. Otherwise, there is no issue here.
No. RF demands that W3C member companies must license the relevant patents
for free if they wish W3C to use the technology they (the company)
patented as the base for a W3C standard ('scuse me: 'recommendation').
My draconian version of a contract also would say that it is the W3C
member organizations obligation to identify and make known such patent
issues from their portfolios (if it is too onerous for _the company that
obtained the patent_ to identify said conflicts, how in the world is
anyone _else_ supposed to identify them? Particularly if said patent is
only _applied_ for and hence not yet public?)
Patents as currently issued by the USPTO _are_ being used as a form of
legalized extortion: cf. Amazon and 'one click' ordering and its use as
a blunt instrument against Barnes & Noble's online effort. The USPTO has
long since become a rubber stamp on patents. There is honest-to-god a
patent from the USPTO on using a laser pointer as a cat toy.
Pay no attention to sections 102 and 103 of US Title 35, Part II, Chapter
10 regarding what is patentable. After all - the USPTO doesn't.