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

Re: We must fork the SVG standard (was: SVGA 1.0 uses RAND -> DO NOT ! implement it, DO NOT ! use it)

From: Daniel Phillips <phillips@bonn-fries.net>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 14:05:19 +0200
To: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>, www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
Message-Id: <20011005120514Z17067-17200+750@humbolt.nl.linux.org>
On October 4, 2001 02:00 pm, Chris Lilley wrote:
> From: Daniel Phillips (phillips@bonn-fries.net)
> > The question that naturally arises is: even though Adobe was nowhwere
> > mentioned in the SVG documents, 
> Um, Adobe was mentioned on the patent license page that you cited. 

Correct.  However, Adobe was not mentioned in the summary, which I am sure 
you will agree, is misleading:

     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). 

Do you see Adobe anywhere in there?  Me neither.

What we do see from Adobe later in the document is:

     The following is the IPR declaration of Adobe Systems
     Incorporated for the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.0
     Specification as set forth in the Working Draft dated May 14,
     2001 (the "Specification")  [...]  This declaration applies
     only to the unmodified content of the Specification.
In other words, Adobe promises nothing, since the declaration applies only to 
the unmodified specification as of May 14.

No details of Adobe's IP claims are provided in the patent statements 
document.  Instead, a link is provided to:


which is inaccessible to the public.  Try it if you don't believe me.  And 
yes, this is the latest version of the patent statements document.

> > does Adobe somehow stand to benefit from
> > Apple's undisclosed RAND licensing terms?  There is no smoking gun here, 
> > but there is certainly smoke.
> Perhaps you could be less poetic but more direct and describe the smoke
> a bit more clearly.

Well, we cleared that up, didn't we.  Adobe certainly must be a main 
beneficiary of a patent-encumbered SVG standard.  I'm sure that is good for 
Adobe, but is it good for us, the public?

Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 08:05:23 UTC

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