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Re: [xml-dev] Cutting special deals for open source developers --noway!


Obviously this is a very touchy subject especially when an organization like the
gets involved.

Is it worth it to study how other organizations that are in the standards and
recommendation business like MPEG, IETF handle this thorny issue?

As a general point, I have seen that large companies typically use their
"portfolio of patents" to strike lucrative cross-licensing deals in very large
markets where it is almost impossible to have a patent that covers all aspects
of the technology.  Patents are of little value to a small company till it is
successfully defended in court.  Till that point it is a marketing tool.

But I find it fascinating that people think of patents as "stifling innovation"
while the original idea was to provide the inventor with some protection by
allowing them to publicly disclose their art so that innovation can go on.  I
guess any good idea can eventually be abused.

> "patent a semi-obvious idea before
> anyone else does and sic the lawyers on the poor suckers who re-invent that
> diameter of wheel" variety, not a stirring advertisement for Intellectual
> Property Rights in a Free Economy.

I read somewhere that "creativity is making the obvious visible".  Did not say
anything about semi-obvious.  That would probably be the realm of a creative
genius :-))

I always liked this definition.