W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-exi@w3.org > March 2006

Re: Submissions to exi working group IP implications

From: Robin Berjon <robin.berjon@expway.fr>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2006 17:39:29 +0100
Message-Id: <EB832B84-0F5B-4F9A-8E41-C9417CBB9FF4@expway.fr>
Cc: <public-exi@w3.org>
To: Kevin Ryan <kjjbryan@bigpond.net.au>

Hi Kevin,

sorry to have taken so long to get back to you, the WG has been very  
busy with things that are not evaluating formats per se, but rather  
setting up the test framework within which they are to be evaluated,  
as well as compared to XML in order to prove in full detail not only  
that an efficient XML solution is possible, but also that the gains  
are worth the disruption. This phase is planned to go on for another  
two months before we start digging into the formats proper.

On Feb 08, 2006, at 23:59, Kevin Ryan wrote:
> We are considering submitting a proposal for binary xml. It is a  
> technology that is patent pending.
> I have looked in detail at the IP sections of the w3c site, but I  
> am still unclear on the status of the IP of our technology while  
> being considered by a working group. I understand that if our  
> technology is accepted in part or in whole in a working party  
> recommendation then we must agree to the full terms of the IP  
> Policy of the w3c.

Yes, in order for your proposal to be considered for inclusion you  
would have to provide a royalty-free license to all implementers of  
the technology on all patents you have that are essential to its  

> 1. When we make a submission (including Specifications), do we need  
> to relinquish any of our IP rights to the w3c, for the working  
> party to consider the technology.

Here it depends what you mean by IP. If you mean patents, you would  
not relinquish them to W3C, you simply grant implementers of that  
given specification a royalty-free licence. Your patent can still  
gather royalties for uses that do not pertain to implementing the  
Recommendation. If you mean copyright, then yes if you submit a  
specification and it is reused in whole or in part in a W3C document,  
the bits that are reused become W3C copyright.

> 2. If the technology is rejected, for technical reasons, by the  
> working group do our current IP rights remain.

Yes, any patent that is not essential to the implementation does not  
fall under a royalty-free licence. Please note however that if  
another technology would fall under one of your patents and that  
technology becomes essential to the implementation of the  
specification, then your IP falls under RF licensing.

> 3. During the period of evaluation of technical submissions, are  
> there any IP constraints imposed on us by the w3c in pursuing other  
> commercial or open source avenues for our technology.

You can do whatever you want with your technology, at all times. You  
can open-source it, sell it, etc..

In order to submit a technology, the best thing would be to join the  
WG so that everything is set and clear. Have you considered joining  
W3C? Since the WG's discussions are member-confidential, without  
being a member of the WG you wouldn't be able to partake in these.

Otherwise, here are examples of copyright statement and Patents  
declaration when submitting specs to W3C:


XXXX (author) hereby grants to the W3C, a perpetual, nonexclusive,
royalty-free, world-wide right and license under any XXXX copyrights in
this contribution to copy, publish and distribute the contribution  
under the
W3C document licenses. Additionally, should the Submission be used as a
contribution towards a W3C Activity, XXXX grants a right and license of
the same scope to any derivative works prepared by the W3C and based on,
or incorporating all or part of, the contribution. XXXX further  
agrees that
any derivative works of this contribution prepared by the W3C shall be
solely owned by the W3C.


The organization I represent agrees to offer licenses according to the
W3C Royalty-Free licensing requirements described in section 5 of the
5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy for any portion of the Submission that
is subsequently incorporated in a W3C Recommendation.

I hope this information is useful, please be sure to keep in mind  
that I am not a lawyer and that this does not constitute legal advice  
of any kind, merely a clarification of the terms as I understand them.

Robin Berjon
    Senior Research Scientist
    Expway, http://expway.com/
Received on Thursday, 16 March 2006 16:39:35 UTC

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