W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org > October 2001

Patented Standards

From: Mike Todd <MikeTodd@miketodd.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 23:05:44 -0700
Message-ID: <00d701c14a3f$1c390ae0$02a8a8c0@miketodd.com>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
In response to the recent W3C proposal to develop a patent policy framework
that includes a concept designated RAND (Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory)
which is a new licensing model that will allow for non-royalty-free
standards to become W3C sanctioned recommendations:

We are all aware of the following facts:

The Internet has grown faster and wider than any technology in the history
of the world.

The Internet is based on standards developed using a consensus model similar
to that used by W3C.

Internet Protocols are copyrighted by the Internet Society to preclude their
unauthorized capture by any organization.

I feel strongly, and am sure many share the feeling, that the success of the
Internet's growth is a direct result of its basis on public domain and
publicly accessible standards.

It is also a fact that many organizations have used the Internet for profit
making purposes, some which involve software that extends and enhances the
basic capabilities supported by the base protocols.

My recommendations concerning the RAND proposal, in order of preference,

1.  Do not establish a policy that allows proprietary patents to become
parts of recommendations or standards.  In addition to all of the excellent
reasons provided in other messages, the possibility that the unknowing
public is drawn into using and becoming accustomed to capabilities, part of
which may one day be taxed by royalties or other requirements, is not
conducive to continuing the great growth of the Internet to which we have
become accustomed.

2.  If the RAND policy is approved, there needs to be public identification
of exactly what is being provided in this non-royalty-free manner and, more
importantly, an alternative that is not so encumbered.  In this way,
organizations and individuals may make informed choices about the future of
their software and other capabilities, developed based on these W3C

3.  If the RAND policy is approved as it is currently proposed, I am not
sure of the impacts on W3C.  However, I am pretty sure that it will cause a
great deal of concern among Internet developers and some users around the

I do believe developers and users are willing to accept non-royalty-free
patents on capabilities that extend Internet capabilities.  I do not believe
the same is true for standards.  The basic capabilities that define the web
must be free of encumbrances, just like those for the Internet.

Reference:  http://www.openphd.net/W3C_Patent_Policy/

Mike Todd
President, Mike Todd Associates
Supporting the Digital Coast

President, Internet Society Los Angeles Chapter

Vice President, Individual Membership, Internet Society

  Voice:  714-846-7257
  FAX:    714-846-5716
  Cell:   714-222-3700
Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 02:02:49 UTC

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