W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-archive@w3.org > February 2010

Re: IETF patent policy (Was: [hybi] Process!)

From: Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 21:38:32 +0100
To: duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp
Cc: ian@hixie.ch, www-archive@w3.org
Message-Id: <201002172138.33318.rigo@w3.org>
Hi Martin and Ian, 

there are examples of gluing patents into Specs by participants. The most 
notable case that let to the W3C Patent Policy was the case of P3P that went 
exactly the way Martin described it. There are many more examples. What Martin 
describes is a recognized business model in traditional standardization 
circles, encouraged in many Industry & Research talks I heard in Brussels and 
elsewhere. It was the basis of tons of litigation and the famous decision of 
Rambus vs. DOJ on Vesa Local Bus and many thereafter.

So the highest risk really comes from inside, less from outside (so far). 

But the scenario Ian describes is also happening today, especially with the 
proliferation of patents on everything under the sun in the US system. A 
patent commitment mainly protects against the first threat. A social procedure 
(like Patent Advisory Groups) are a means to deal with the other cases. 
Litigation happens as last remedy as it is very expensive.

Best, 

Rigo

On Tue, 2 Feb 2010, "Martin J. Dürst" wrote:
> 
> Well, I am not a lawyer, and the simple summary here may ignore all kinds of
> details, but essentially a lot of communities (standards organizations as 
> well as open source communities) and the people and companies involved 
> therein have, over the years, made painful experiences with the following
> scenario:
> 
> Person A: "wouldn't it be great if you spec did X."
> 
> Editor, WG: "not a bad idea, we'll take that"
> 
> (some years later)
> 
> Person A: "Hello everybody, I have a patent on X, please start paying."

Can you cite an example of that?

The only cases I've heard of are:

WG Member A: "wouldn't it be great if you spec did X."
Editor: "not a bad idea, we'll take that"
(some years later)
Person B, unrelated to anyone in the WG: "Hello everybody, I have a patent 
on X, please start paying."
Received on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 20:39:07 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Wednesday, 7 November 2012 14:18:28 GMT