W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-plugins@w3.org > November 2003

Re: 906 Patent Re-Examination

From: <Kade.Hansson@dpiwe.tas.gov.au>
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2003 15:18:29 +1100
To: public-web-plugins@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFE91B7365.39C0E34F-ONCA256DD3.00144108@dpiwe.tas.gov.au>

Harold, any appeal to patriotism will fail in an international forum such
as this. :-) Even if we can't kill '906 at the source, we will fight them
on the beaches!

'906 was not a new invention at the time it was filed, in my view, and in
the view of many others (W3C, it seems.) We are not looking to make it
invalid so we don't have to pay royalties or suffer inconvenience through
workarounds (though that'd be nice too), we are looking to make it invalid
because it was filed when the invention was not new- this is illegal,
unfair and unethical. The Eolas vs Microsoft court documents alone
(without considering the W3C and other submissions subsequent to those)
convince this observer that this filing was made opportunistically and in
bad faith. The people who did the hard pioneering work in creating the WWW
as we know it are now being pushed aside by some patent-happy
one-man-band. There is one simple reason why we now cite prior art- you
cannot patent something that you didn't invent!

Your argument that there are many (all?) patents filed under similar false
pretences (i.e. patent filer is not inventor), and therefore we have to
kill all of them together and at-once should we just want to kill '906, is
spurious. Even if it did have a sound basis (and I have no doubt many
patents are invalid after this fiasco- the patent examiners are simply not
doing their job), the best we can do in such a ludicrous situation is kill
the entire patent system. And many activists are trying to do exactly that
in the area of software patents, and I happily count myself among them.
But in the interim, this one patent is worth fighting against because it
is so clearly wrong, irrespective of one's politics on the patent system
as a whole. And it is politics- your argument for patents in general
appeals entirely to capitalistic economics, and not at all to a view which
emphasizes the social good.

I leave it to someone else to explain that innovation is unaffected, or
perhaps even improved, in the absence of patents- particularly in the
software field. We certainly have one very on-topic example- the WWW.


Received on Sunday, 2 November 2003 23:19:12 UTC

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