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

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

From: <TheoDP@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 05:08:52 -0500
To: djweitzner@w3.org
Cc: public-web-plugins@w3.org, kotok@w3.org
Message-ID: <0A4E4300.654BF0EA.00053D18@aol.com>

Since Microsoft's unsuccessful litigation and proposed IE changes 
seem to be playing a big role in driving the W3C's efforts (e.g., 
the unprecedented patent challenge) and schedule (e.g., no public 
call for prior art before the 301 filing) in the matter of the 
Eolas plug-in patent, I'm curious if the W3C and the PAG are 
concerned that the recently disclosed Microsoft plug-in patent 
application:

1. Doesn't seem to have been made public when Microsoft sought the 
W3C's support back in August (did MS disclose this to the W3C and 
PAG at the time?)

2. Seems to cover some of the same plug-in territory as Eolas (did 
MS provide the W3C and PAG with legal assurances that it will never 
be used to block compliance with W3C Recommendations?) 

3. Might be used to counter any claims that Microsoft and others 
might try to make about plug-in patents not being considered 
innovative by someone "skilled in the art"

In an earlier note (the W3C's Susan Lesch replied that she had no 
comment), I was also interested in some comments from the W3C and 
the PAG about feedback I got from the USPTO regarding the Eolas 
patent reexamination:

1. It was indicated that the prior art submitted by the W3C in 
October had already been submitted to the USPTO by another 
(unnamed) party (any idea if that's true and who the other party 
is?)

2. It was also indicated that because the reexam was ordered almost 
immediately after the USPTO received the duplicate prior art from 
the W3C, the public will be unable to contribute any new prior art 
for consideration as part of this reexamination (any idea if that's 
true or false?)

In a message dated 1/5/2004 11:19:36 AM Eastern Standard Time, djweitzner@w3.org writes:

> 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.
Received on Tuesday, 6 January 2004 05:09:01 GMT

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