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

Re: 906 Patent Re-Examination

From: Jason Cunliffe <jason.cunliffe@verizon.net>
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2003 00:06:55 -0500
Message-ID: <001301c3a1c8$4da07b80$6501a8c0@vaio>
To: <public-web-plugins@w3.org>
Cc: "Harold Wray" <hpwray@sbcglobal.net>

> Regarding Eolas's patent I would like to say that the W3C should be
> ASHAMED of the acts they are taking to destroy 906.

On the contrary we should all be ashamed of W3C if they had not stood up
boldly to fix this ridiculous mess [after careful consideration]. 906 is a

Just because some thing is the Law does not make it right - burning books,
witches, jews, blacks, etc history is littered with horrific mistakes and
gross injustices. Neither does it mean when a case has been approved by a
judge in one court that justice has infallibly prevailed. For a blatant
example, look at the recent cases where DNA evidence has reversed wrongful
convictions for murder after many years. Thank goodness 906 is not about
racism, prejudice or murder.

Truly the price of freedom is eternal vigilance - which means we all must
continously question and share openly  our analysis when we believe any
legal processes have overruled the truth or common sense.
Then we must correct the specific injustice, and strive improve the Laws.

We should be thankful to 906 becuase it has clearly highlighted and focused
awareness to the problems of US patent law in regard to the Internet. The US
patent system is dangerously out of date. The pace of digital communcations
moves at last at Moore's Law [doublying every 18 months]. Any legal system
which takes longer than that to even determine validity must be broken. It's
like using sound waves to measure spectrum of light coming frmo distance
stars. 19th century mchanical patent paradigm is now used to cripple 21st
century digital and biological innovation. You still think it is a good idea
for people to walk in front of automobiles carrying a red flag??
Want to to patent light, g*d, love, cooking, or The Future...
Step right up -- the US patent office is overhwelmed I hear, and you might
get lucky!

>We live in a
> country where innovation is the upmost importance and one of the few
> ways we protect and encourage intellectual property is with patents.

We now live in WORLD where open internet comunications are essential and
should be treated like fresh air and water - a fundamental resource which
needs proper protections and careful respectful support by everyone. The W3C
was formed to contribute in core way to this task.

> How is anyone EVER going to be encouraged to think and come up with new
> ideas if they will be later invalidated.  If anyone of these companies
> or people patented or protected this idea first they would be acting
> the complete opposite.  906 patent has been decided and WE ALL have to
> move forward.  We all will adapt.

Granting 906 was a mistake which needs to corrected.

There will *always* be room for innovation.
But identifying false innovations and granting them innapropriate powers
will hinder true innovation and devalues teh value of originality.

> If you are going to find prior art
> or another loophole to make patent No. 5,838,906 invalid you should go
> through every other patent first and confirm there validity.  Every
> person knows of someone who came up with the invention way before it
> was patented.  Does that make every one of those patents invalid?  I
> suggest each of you think about all the innovations you ever dream up
> in your life meaning NOTHING.

No some patents are valid in the sense that there is clearly a true

Nicola Tesla's alternating current and 3 phase electrical circuits for
example. Interestingly even while registering so many patents he was
visionary in recognizing that fundamentally his work was for all mankind.
And in the case of George Westinghouse, Tesla practiced what he preached.

But some inventions are much harder to determine.
Discovery is different from invention.
The reason so many people are outraged by Eolas 906 is they were there in
They remember when all these items of prior art were so important and
evident. I was there too. Were you?

- Jason Cunliffe
Received on Monday, 3 November 2003 00:07:26 UTC

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