SVG (Was: XHTML survival rate?)
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In a message dated 11/04/02 19:50:15 GMT Daylight Time, email@example.com writes:
Back when I swa the first submissions of SVG to the W3C, I
noticed a little disclaimer that said that Adobe (and maybe
others involved) retained the right to charge license fees
for the use of the format (based on their technology in it)
at some undetermined future time. This worried me, with the
example of Unisys' sandbagging the Web with the GIF-related
patents by waiting until GIF was in widespread use before
asserting their "rights" to rather draconian license fees.
Have the original contributors since assigned any such rights
in SVG to the public domain, or is there a time-bomb here?
I don't think there is a time-bomb out there, but I am no IP lawyer. :)
The following from an SVG WG member in response to a question on the topic from me might help:
>linked from http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG
>Its a little complicated (sorry) since patents are listed that were
>disclosed at any stage of the spec production process, that *might*
>have been essential....but basically for each member of the working
>group in that table:
>a) if the re is no patent listed, no problem
>b) if there is a patent listed and it says RF, no
> problem (Apple)
>c) if there is a patent listed and it says RAND, read the
> exact wording (Kodak)
>In case c, Kodak says "Kodak does not believe it currently has any
>essential claims that fall within the specification of the
>Recommendation as currently understood and interpreted by Kodak for
>implementors of SVG. However, Kodak hereby identifies U.S. Patent
>5,459,819 and affirms that in the event that any claim of this patent
>is interpreted as an essential claim within the specification of the
>Recommendation in its current or later amended form, Kodak agrees to
>provide a RAND License as set forth in the previous paragraph."
>For SVG 1.x, the new SVG Working Group was explicitly chartered to
>produce a Royalty Free specification.
The situation is described in significantly more detail at the URL given earlier.
I hope that helps.