W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-plugins@w3.org > January 2004

Re: Microsoft Seeks Browser Plug-In Patent Of Its Own

From: Daniel Weitzner <djweitzner@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2004 11:19:36 -0500
Message-ID: <3FF98E98.4060403@w3.org>
To: TheoDP@aol.com
Cc: public-web-plugins@w3.org, kotok@w3.org

I certainly didn't mean to be condescending.

As I understood you original note, you would like W3C to do something in 
particular about the particular patent application you cite. My response 
was simply to explain when we are or are not likely to look at a given 
patent. We're most concerned about patents that are actually being used 
to block compliance with W3C Recommendations, as Eolas is doing. If I've 
missed something, please clarify.

TheoDP@aol.com wrote:

> What I would suggest is that the public may be less inclined to 
> participate in this discussion after seeing the W3C leadership 
> respond with a condescending FYI and by reinterpreting another's 
> words instead of commenting on the USPTO's recent disclosure that 
> Microsoft had a plug-in patent of its own in the works when it 
> sought the W3C's support back in August.
> In a message dated 1/2/2004 11:56:52 AM Eastern Standard Time, djweitzner@w3.org writes:
>>While I can't offer an answer on behalf of the HTML Patent Advisory 
>>Group constituted to address the Eolas patent, I can address the way 
>>that the W3C Patent Policy works.
>>Patent Advisory Group's are created when we become aware of a patent 
>>that is essential to a W3C Recommendation that is *not* available on 
>>royalty-free terms.[1] Our policy is focused on hte most serioius 
>>threats to interoperability. We do NOT create a PAG every time a patent 
>>is discovered that might read on a Web standard. The US Patent system 
>>being what it is, if we created a PAG for every patent allegedly related 
>>to the Web, we would have more PAGs than technical working groups. :-(
>>New Recommendations developed under the W3C's new patent policy will 
>>offer more (but not complete) licensing certainly. Our policy requires 
>>that from now on, all who participate in the development of a W3C 
>>Recommendation agree to license any essential patent claims they hold on 
>>a royalty-free basis.
>>TheoDP@aol.com wrote:
>>>Noting that nearly every Web user today relies on plug-in applications, the W3C fired 
>>>off a passionate letter to the USPTO arguing that Eolas has no right to a patent that 
>>>restricts access to the technology. 
>>FYI, our letter to the PTO said that we believed that there is a strong 
>>case that the patent is invalid and that that PTO should take action as 
>>quickly as possible to remove the damaging impact of the patent which 
>>should not have been issued in the first place.
>>We did not, as you incorrectly suggest, challenge Eolas' right to hold a 
>>patent in general on Web technology.
>>>So what does the W3C Patent Advisory Group (including its two Microsoft members), 
>>>think of Microsoft's patent application for 'Displaying Plug-in Supplied Content 
>>>in a Browser-Embedded Window', which the USPTO made public earlier this month?
>>>See the patent application at: http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220030226102%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20030226102&RS=DN/20030226102
>>[1] http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Patent-Policy-20030520.html#sec-Exception
>>Daniel J. Weitzner                              +1.617.253.8036 (MIT)
>>World Wide Web Consortium                       +1.202.364.4750 (DC)
>>Technology & Society Domain Leader              

Daniel J. Weitzner                              +1.617.253.8036 (MIT)
World Wide Web Consortium                       +1.202.364.4750 (DC)
Technology & Society Domain Leader              <djweitzner@w3.org>
Received on Monday, 5 January 2004 11:19:46 UTC

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