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Re: UML-OWL Generator, A product to convert UML into OWL

From: Elisa Kendall <ekendall@sandsoft.com>
Date: Mon, 04 May 2009 08:41:13 -0700
Message-ID: <49FF0C99.4090608@sandsoft.com>
To: Bijan Parsia <bparsia@cs.manchester.ac.uk>
CC: public-owl-dev@w3.org
Hi Bijan,

I hadn't intended to point this out myself (since I'm assuming the folks 
who we've been exchanging email with have seen it and don't believe that 
it is an issue for their work), but thanks. 

We had what we believed were some key insights years ago, confirmed with 
Grady Booch in fact, that led us to believe that in order to create a 
"proper" mapping from a UML model to OWL, you needed to understand more 
about the semantics of the model than might be available from 
traditional reverse engineering.  This was early work to tease out some 
of the issues, including the need for not only a of the language 
metamodel but an ontology of critical terminology in order to "do the 
right thing".  We still use this approach in our tools, but have refined 
it significantly since 2000/2001 when we did the original research, as 
you might expect.  The approach covers the combination of the 
methodology and the transformation to OWL (or other things).  It 
predates ODM substantially, but our current work has been updated to 
support parts of the standard. 

When we submitted our inputs to ODM (and since, with subsequent updates 
to the standard), we agreed to license any relevant patents to anyone 
who was interested at reasonable commercial rates.  That would include 
the one you found.  We are also planning to contribute some of the work 
to an emerging Eclipse project, the Eclipse/MDT project, and hope to get 
the ODM metamodels, profiles, and APIs out in the Galileo release coming 
out next month, fyi.  None of those components require a license to our 
patent from a usage perspective.



Bijan Parsia wrote:
> Elisa,
> Just for my curiosity, I was wondering if you would mind commenting on:
>     http://www.google.com/patents?id=NR6XAAAAEBAJ
> It seems like it would be pretty easy to infringe upon. Particularly 
> claim 3:
> """3. A method for creating an ontology in UML, the method including:
> accepting as input an ontology name and one or more ontology elements, 
> each ontology element corresponding to at least one of a term, 
> concept, and relationship between concepts, the ontology elements 
> forming a detailed specification of the ontology;
> generating a logically equivalent ontology with UML model elements 
> based on a UML profile grounded in a foundation ontology; and
> presenting the resulting ontology to a user in a UML environment."""
> That also seems to fall on prior art (at the very least, the second 
> and third parts seem to fall with ICOM).
> How does this patent relate to the ODM work? (OMG has a 
> royalty-free/RAND requirement on IP.)
> Cheers,
> Bijan.
Received on Monday, 4 May 2009 15:41:45 UTC

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