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Patents and public (was: RE: Proposal to Adopt HTML5)

From: Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 10:59:36 -0700
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Ben Meadowcroft <ben@benmeadowcroft.com>
CC: 'Ian Hickson' <ian@hixie.ch>, 'HTML WG' <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5C276AFCCD083E4F94BD5C2DA883F05A27D6D626BC@tk5-exmlt-w600.wingroup.windeploy.ntdev.microsoft.com>

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>The W3C has always had a policy of taking input from the general
>public via public mailing lists that impose no special obligations to
>subscribe. For example, the CSS working group accepts public comments
>on its drafts via www-style@w3.org, despite also having a completely
>private list.

And if a commenter on the public list were suggesting a patentable invention, I would expect the CSS WG to follow up with that commenter to sign the patent policy.

>Note also that whether something is covered by a patent may bear no
>relation to who suggested it. If I unwittingly suggest an idea that,
>for example, IBM has a patent on, the fact that Apple agreed to the
>patent policy affords no protection.

That's never been the issue when I've brought up patent policy as a concern.  This isn't about the Eolas case, for example, and never has been.  The issue that patent policy protects against is Joe Schmoe sending in a "good idea" that he knowingly has IP on (or that his company has IP rights on), and it gets adopted - and then he can sue the implementers.  The provenance of any significant contribution is important.

-Chris
Received on Thursday, 12 April 2007 17:59:47 GMT

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