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In Opposition to RAND

From: Ron Thigpen <rthigpen@nc.rr.com>
Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2001 10:32:43 -0400
Message-ID: <3BB87E8B.8030500@nc.rr.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
It is my strong belief that all W3 standards should remain free of any 
patent burdens.

The strength of W3 standards is that they are open to all and free to 
use.  The benefits of interoperability should be available to any 
developer who chooses to code to the standards.

Burdened standards are unfair to the developer who does not seek 
economic gain from their code.  Burdened standards quell innovation. 
Burdend standards are unneccessary, as alternative technologies are 
always an option.

Free standards are superior standards in that they are available to all. 
   Free standards provide a fair and stable basis for competition and 
innovation.  Free standards allow greater overall economic good to be 
the result of a given innovation.

Member companies who seek the benefits of working to a standard should 
make peace with the idea that the value to their shareholders of 
interoperability exceeds the value of the licensing revenues.   If that 
is not the case, why do they participate in the standards process at all?

A given technology can be either standardized for interoperability or 
proprietary, not both.  For any given technology, a choice should be 
made.  If the owner honestly thinks that their technology has more value 
under fee-burdened licensing, then it is their choice to pursue that 

We should not muddy the waters by pretending that patent burdens can 
co-exist with open standards.  That this is even being considered is a 
case of the member companies wishing to have their cake and eat it too. 
  They would like to see that wide adoption and use of their technology 
that standardization can drive, while maintaining the ability to charge 
for it's use.

The fact that patent burdens may only come to light after the adoption 
of a standard is even more troublesome.

It would be preferable to forego the use of a given technology, than to 
burden the standard as a result of its use.   The resources dedicated to 
developing alternatives are well allocated if the result is a free 

Please reject the RAND model or any model that imposes restrictions on 
the free use of any W3 standard.


Ron Thigpen
Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 10:32:51 UTC

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