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

Re: RAND Patents: A great thing

From: <mark@otford.kent.btinternet.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 01 Oct 2001 13:48:21 +0100
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Cc: mark@otford.kent.btinternet.co.uk
Message-Id: <E15o2Uf-0008CN-00@giskard.marknet>
>
>                          RAND Patents: A great thing
>                                       
>
>A short note to express my strong support for the RAND patent changes proposed.
>
>Patents are a critical part of our Intellectual Property system and a key under
>pinning of our capitalist economy. 

The role of patents is to provide inventors with protection from predatory
large companies.


> Remove patents and you remove the incentive
>s for people to invent/create new IP.  

Standards bodies are their to create commodity protocols and interfaces
to enable interconnection of the products of competing organisations.  There
is nothing to stop Microsoft from creating additional functionality 
in their products as things stand now.

>Why create new IP when you have to risk
>it as part of the W3C procedures? 

You don't need to risk anything.  You can, as you do already, create
capabilities which are specific to eg., Internet Explorer, so you already
have the possibility you claim RAND will give you.

>Instead, the W3C should uphold, protect and e
>ncourage patents as they create and support true innovation by providing tremen
>dous positive economic incentives.

The only possible reason for wanting control beyond that already provided
by the current system is that you would want to de-commoditise protocols 
or interfaces (aka APIs).  The only reason to do that would be to extract
payment from everyone for using such a protocol, or prevent those without
such funds from developing tools which implement those protocols or APIs.

You can (and do) already create whatever proprietary formats, applications,
protocols and APIs you want to run on top of the infrastructure provided
by the internet and the W3C's work.  Microsoft does not need patents on
the W3C's work at all.  Microsoft already benefits *more* than any other
software vendor from the current *open, unencumbered* standards, so there
is every incentive to maintain that benefit.

Mark Kent
(ex-ITU Rapporteur)
Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 13:01:08 GMT

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