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Against RAND and Patent Policy Framework

From: onno <kubbe@cs.vu.nl>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 11:44:26 +0200
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Cc: <kubbe@pz.nl>
Hash: SHA1

Please extend the September 30 deadline for public comment of the
Patent. Policy Framework.  The foundation believes the W3C has not
done enough to publicize this Framework and seek out comment from
independent developers.  As such, further public review of this
framework is requested.
The Foundation for Public Affairs disagrees with the w3c recommending
the allowance of fee-based standards.
The Foundation believes firmly that submittal of a standard should
inherently mean the owner is giving up Intellectual Property (IP)
rights of the technology in return for the opportunity to have the
technology become widely adopted as an industry standard.  The
Foundation believes, and expects of w3c org, to stand behind the
principles of open standards.  The w3c should not stop short of this
The Foundation disagrees with the notion that companies should be
able to continue charging fee's for technology after they have
submitted the technology to the public standards review board. This
change means in essence that companies are able to make a profit by
‘law’: the standard, and a the meaning of a standard should never be
extended in this way. Rather, Companies should focus on profiting
from technologies that enable and facilitate the open-standard.
Encouraging wide adoption of the standard to other developers is in
the best interest of companies building technologies based upon the
standards; the best means of industry-wide adoption of standards is
by virtue of a ROYALTY-FREE standard.  Wide adoption of a standard
will ultimately drive the market for companies' product lines, which
are designed to enable and facilitate using the standard. Meanwhile,
it will leave room for innovation.  Already we have seen how slow the
Patent and Trademark offices are to respond to new ideas. Anything
but Royalty-Free Standards, the Foundation fears will result in
reluctance of widespread adoption, weakening w3c standards community.
 Further, it will create excessive amounts of IP litigation as
innovators become stymied while attempting to enhance a current
fee-based standard. And worse of all, it will slow the development of
technology, as companies wait very long period of time for their
technology to become protected by patents before submitting them to
standard review boards. Adopting "Reasonable and Non-discriminatory"
(RAND) licensing will stymie innovation in software development.
One cost of submitting a technology for adoption as an industry
standard should be full submission of the Intellectual Property to
the public domain.  There is clearly room for profit for those with
the best tools to implement the standard.  There should be no need
for additional profit for the use of the standard.

RAND is, perhaps, appropriate for licensing of proprietary software.
However, there is no place for licensing in the use of public domain
standards.  This licensing model is better suited for the purchase of
tools to enable use of the standard.  The foundation suggests that
the RAND language be a separate submittal to the w3c org as a
recommended standard method vendors may adopt for use when licensing
their software.  However, this fee structure should NOT be instituted
for industry-standards in and of themselves.
Please delay the last call period, and spend additional marketing
efforts to gain the opinion of independent software developers before
moving forward with the recommendation of the Patent Policy

Thanks you for all the great work W3C has done heretofore to keep
innovation moving forward on the www.

(the Foundation thanks PLUM Computer Consulting, Inc. for its
eloquent piece in this thread. The has used and restated the comment
due to the urgency of this matter)

O. Kubbe
Foundation for Public Affairs.

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Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 05:50:38 UTC

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