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

W3C standards should remain unencumbered by patents.

From: L. Adrian Griffis <adrian@nerds.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 19:59:11 -0500 (CDT)
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.10110021933250.31544-100000@cyclone>

I don't believe I have seen a single example of any company's
attempt that use patents on the Internet that was not
appalling and grotesque.  No good can come from any willingness
on the part of W3C to legitimize these disgraceful artifacts
of modern corporation.

I am positively against seeing W3C legitimize any standard that
is encumbered by patents.  I think requiring participants to
disclose any patents that they think might be relevant to a
standards discussion would be a good idea.  If such a patent
claim is found to exist, W3C should investigate it, and if any
such patent claim is found to be an encumbrance to developers
and users, in any way, the standard in question should be
modified to avoid the claimed patent, or work on the standard
to be discontinued so that no patent encumbered standard will
be legitimized by W3C.

I think it is important to put these standards in perspective.
The health and growth of the Internet has always been at its
best where its development is open and free.  The proliferation
of frivolous patent claims by unscrupulous lawyers and company
officers has already been a serious impediment to the development
of new tools.  Patents for common standards and software have
played SO SIGNIFICANT PART in the success of the Internet, today.
Encouraging the corporate world to think it will be easy to
leach off of the Internet with more frivolous patents will be
detrimental to the health of the Internet.  No one with a
rudimentary understanding of the history of Internet growth
can honestly argue that any legitimate use of patent encumbered
standards (assuming that there can be legitimate use) is likely
to be helpful to the continued growth and health of the Internet.

I urge to stick to your guns and keep those common Internet
related standards that you influence free of patents and other
intellectual property encumbrances.  Specific implementations
of Internet standards may be legitimate subjects of intellectual
property claims, but the standards themselves should not be.


L. Adrian Griffis
Received on Tuesday, 2 October 2001 21:00:05 UTC

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