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

Bad idea.

From: Dave Brasington <dbrasington@spidertek.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 13:01:59 -0400
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001001c14b63$f3f72370$0200a8c0@DAVETOSH>

"Patents" and "open standards" provide complementary but fundamentally
different  benefits to society.  Both are the product of intellectual

Those who invest their intellectual capital in the creation of "open
standards" do so for the purpose of creating a community in which they think
they can thrive.  The reward for participation and contribution is obtained
later by doing business on an equal footing in the community that is

The reward for an investment that results in a patent is created by
depriving others of the right to use the work product, thus creating an
artificial "shortage".

Both mechanisms provide an incentive for invention that benefits the
community.  The mechanics are fundamentally at odds with one another, and
MUST NOT be mixed or confused.

Participants in an open standards processes understand the benefits and the
risks of participation.  The proposal is a risky and unnecessary attempt to
increase the potential rewards for participants.  If participants are not on
an equal footing, the entire process is in jeopardy and the future of open
standards will be a quagmire.

If the proposal is adopted, then large, well established, well capitalized
and litigious participants will have an inherent advantage against startups
and smaller or financially weaker participants.  Litigation is a poor
arbiter of right and wrong.  The world will be rife with legalized
blackmail, extortion and even "greenmail" perpetrated by the strong against
the week.

This is a bad idea.

David Brasington
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 13:01:19 UTC

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