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   Re: [xml-dev] US Patent 6,687,897

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Bob Wyman wrote:

>Rick Marshall wrote:
>>surely it's in the interests of all of us for the w3c
>>to work with the various patent offices...
>>it ain't rocket science, but there again we could be
>>more helpful.
>	Absolutely! I would suggest, however, that one way to make
>sure that the "help" is permanent would be to go through the formality
>of creating SIRs as records of the advice given to the patent offices.
>This is also a nice vehicle to ensure that credit is given to the
>early innovators who could be referenced by name and project within
>the body of the SIR. Personally, I can't imagine why the open source
>community hasn't jumped on the idea of SIRs long before this. I can
>imagine no better way to ensure that an idea is kept in the public
>domain than formally blocking any potential for a patent by filing a
What about innovations in Japan, Korea and Europe, where there have long
been lots of SGML/XML innovation? Who will register these?

If the problem is indeed that patent offices are operating in a closed world
where they don't have records of prior art, they don't have resources
to get it, and the original "innovators" may no longer be stakeholders
or even speak the same language to put the information forward, what
use are records? They will only catch some lucky cases.

XML and SGML were designed as templates to carry any kind of information.
We knew they could carry any kind of information: that is their purpose. 
It is
obvious that if a document can carry one script in a CDATA sections that it
can carry two scripts in CDATA sections: that was one of the purposes of 
sections. It is obvious that information in XML can be in one file, or 
in multiple
entities, or in linked files. That you can use both CDATA and single 
files is
in no way innovative or an unusual combination, but the typical case.

It feels like Microsoft spitting on ISO and W3C, and the 
standards-making community.
What is the point of making general-purpose standards if one rich company or
another can go ahead and monopolize chunks?  Don't US citizens see that
(some in) rest of the world see this kind of thing as a pattern of 
behaviour, where
the US (indeed, the West) grabs whatever it can get away with, pompously 
about freedom or innovation or rights or development, thereby preventing
non-Westerners from having a fair chance?

Rick Jelliffe


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