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RAND already being assumed for SVG

From: Daniel Phillips <phillips@bonn-fries.net>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 04:11:16 +0200
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <20011002021116Z16082-2757+2751@humbolt.nl.linux.org>
This is a heads-up for everybody reading this list.  It appears that the SVG 
(Scalable Vector Graphics) working group is already conducting itself as if 
RAND were a fait accompli.  Here's an extract from a patent statement by the 
working group:

   (http://www.w3.org/2001/07/SVG10-IPR-statements.html)
    *  The majority of SVG working group members are providing a Royalty
       Free license for SVG 1.0.
    *  There are four organisations who offered a RAND license for SVG 1.0. 
       Examining each in detail:
          * Kodak have publically stated that while they are unable to 
            provide a RF license for their existing IP, they believe that 
            they have no essential claims on the SVG 1.0 specification. 
            Furthermore, they participate in an open-source effort to 
            implement the complete SVG 1.0 specification.
          * Apple informed the SVG 1.0 Working Group very early in the SVG 
            1.0 process of the patent they listed in their license statement. 
            The SVG Working Group made a concerted effort to produce a 
            specification that does not require implementors to infringe the 
            patent.
          * The other two RAND licenses were from IBM and Quark, both of whom 
            have not announced any patents since the request for IP licenses 
            was issued (in May 2001).

How do we interpret this?  Apple, for example, appears to be prepared 
to collect a toll on SVG according to this criterion:  "Existence of a 
non-infringing alternative shall be judged based on the state-of-the-art at 
the time the specification becomes a Recommendation."  I interpret that to 
mean  Apple will sit in the woods until the specification has been 
essentially finalized, then announce their claims on it.  This sounds 
somewhat less than forthcoming.

I have to ask: do people know that SVG is encumbered?  Do we need SVG if it's 
encumbered?  Just what exactly does the W3C think it's doing?

--
Daniel
Received on Monday, 1 October 2001 22:11:22 GMT

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