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

Avoid conflicts of interest

From: James <Jamesm@triad.rr.com>
Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 14:04:58 -0400
Message-ID: <3BBB534A.940968A9@triad.rr.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

Hitherto, the W3C has chosen to eschew any standard that would incur a
patent payment. Should this policy change, those companies involved in
the standards setting process will be faced with a conflict of interest.
No longer will, for instance, IBM merely advocate a standard that is
technically best. It may choose to advocate standards that make the most
money for IBM. Other companies will of course oppose it, and there will
be some give and take. What's most frightening is the possibility that a
"compromise" solution will be reached, in which IBM's patented standard
will be used, and in return, the patented standards of some of its
competitors will also be used. Such a compromise solution would greatly
increase the cost for small and mid-size companies to build
standards-compliant products, while providing zero or negative technical
benefits versus the open alternative. Overall, allowing companies to
charge royalties will slow the pace of innovation while increasing

Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 13:57:17 UTC

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