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RE: [xml-dev] Cutting special deals for open source developers --noway!
- From: Jonathan Robie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>, email@example.com
- Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 18:28:16 -0400
I spend a lot of my life working on W3C Working Groups, giving away ideas
that may well be patentable. As long as the standards we are working on are
freely implementable, it is easy for my employer to understand that it is
in our interest to pay me to work full time giving away ideas, because
everyone else on the committees is doing the same thing, so we benefit from
their generosity, and they benefit from ours.
Note: I am not speaking for my current employer, but in general terms.
Now suppose everyone is patenting ideas that are needed to be able to
implement the standards we develop. If I come up with a potentially
patentable idea, how do I explain to my employer that I should make it
publicly available, when everyone else is patenting their ideas instead of
making them available to us for our implementation? In fact, I may need to
have some patented ideas to be able to trade with the other companies so
that I can use all the technology I need to implement a standard we are
working to develop together.
It gets worse, of course. I have to be careful not to communicate anything
that might give away my potentially patentable ideas until I know they are
protected, so I have to keep lots of secrets instead of being open with my
This is certainly not the climate I want to work in while developing standards.