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   Re: [xml-dev] SOAP patented

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On Fri, Sep 27, 2002 at 12:40:45PM -0700, Jeff Lowery wrote:
>A little more homework:
>from http://www.w3.org/Submission/2000/05/ :
>"Microsoft further agrees that, upon adoption of this contribution as a
>Standard, Microsoft will grant to any party a royalty-free license on other
>reasonable and non-discriminatory terms under applicable Microsoft
>intellectual property rights to implement and use the technology proposed in
>this contribution in products that comply with the Standard but only for the
>purpose of complying with the Standard. Microsoft expressly reserves all
>other rights it may have in the material and subject matter of this
>contribution. The licensing commitments made hereunder do not include any
>license for implementation of other published specifications developed
>elsewhere but referred to in this contribution."

Not to rain on the parade, but reading the application, this appears to be a
reuse of the name (Simple Object Access Protocol) and the original purpose
(defeating the security offered by firewalls), but is not actually at all
the same thing that is represented by SOAP 1.1 or the current XML Protocol

Specific differences: data is described as binary, in multipart mime.  The
contents are not at all similar to the XML SOAP envelope.  Instantiation is
described as COM (ActiveX) and JScript, with an aside that "those skilled in
the art" will see what else is obviously covered.  So ... maybe it's a
patent on SOAP for RPC within .NET, but I doubt even that much.  It doesn't
look like it would cover most SOAP implementations, because they mostly
don't use data marshalled as described, or operate as described.

On the other hand, I suppose it could be used as a stick to beat competitors
with.  Possibly the application went in before "SOAP" became a buzzword? 
The authors aren't the MS folks who are involved in W3C/XMLP/WS work, so far
as I know.

Amelia A. Lewis       amyzing@talsever.com      alicorn@mindspring.com
The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred 
sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals.  That doesn't mean that God
doesn't love heterosexuals.  It's just that they need more supervision.


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