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Re: [xml-dev] More patent funnies!

--- David Lyon <david@globaltradedesk.com> wrote:
> I'm just a law abiding citizen. I have no complaints with patent law. It 
> seems pretty fair to me. 

Glad to hear it. 

> If people disagree with elements of patent law and how they are applied then 
> that's fine too and there are proper channels in which the laws can be 
> changed. 

No one here has been advocating violating patent laws, so I'm not sure what
your point is.

> It should be perfectly obvious that W3C is going to have an interest in 
> filing as many patents as possible to "lock up" the technology for it's own 
> commercial gain. That's their legal right.

This isn't "perfectly obvious" at all. It may be the case that W3C MEMBERS want
to use patents to lock up technologies. You're right that, under current law,
these companies have a right to use patents in this way. It's not clear that
they then have the "right" to have such proprietary technologies "standardized"
by W3C. W3C is a vendor consortium. Companies join precisely because they need
a place where they can avoid pure "red in tooth and claw" competition. It may
be in their larger interest to fashion a policy that avoids "standardizing"
their competitor's proprietary technology.

In addition, W3C at least claims to represent interests broader than simply the
competitive goals of its members. Quoting from its website: "W3C, a
vendor-neutral organization, promotes interoperability by designing and
promoting open (non-proprietary) computer languages and protocols that avoid
the market fragmentation of the past. This is achieved through industry
consensus and encouraging an open forum for discussion."[1] By definition,
patented technologies are proprietary, and having the W3C "designing and
promoting" them risks leading to the kind of fragmentation that the W3C was
created to avoid.


[1] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Points/

Jim Ancona
jim@anconafamily.com                     jancona@xevo.com

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