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   Re: [xml-dev] Another Microsoft XML patent

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On 6/7/05, Kurt Cagle <kurt.cagle@gmail.com> wrote:

> You are correct - I misspoke here. All of the standards promoted by
> the W3C are licenses, not patents, though the standards do go through
> a patent-like process of discovery to insure that patents are not
> being violated.

Welllllll ... not exactly.  See
http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy-20040205/  Not having been
tortured by giant squirrels in my childhood I'm not inured to the pain
that studying this document closely would inflict, but the essence
seems to be: "As a condition of participating in a Working Group, each
participant (W3C Members, W3C Team members, invited experts, and
members of the public) shall agree to make available under W3C RF
licensing requirements any Essential Claims related to the work of
that particular Working Group. "   Presumably companies do an internal
patent search to understand what they would be making available before
joining a WG, but that's not part of the W3C process.  So, there's no
guarantee that the spec can be implemented without impinging upon a
patent, there's only a promise by patent holders ON THE WG to licence
there is a mechanism for excluding specific patents ... I *think* this
is a way of telling the WG "BTW, we have a patent on [something or
other] that we're not willing to license on RF terms, better make sure
that the spec can be implemented without infringing it" but I could
very easily be mistaken.


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