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

Opinion in opposition to RAND provisions of Patent Policy

From: Luigi P. Bai <lpb@focalpoint.com>
Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 13:23:08 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

I am writing to express an opposition to your proposed Policy allowing 
Recommendations to incorporate items protected by patent. A potential 
implementor, especially a not-for-profit distributed open source effort, 
may not be able to afford even "Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory" license 
terms. I would like to propose some alternate approaches:

1. Require that any Recommendation include a non-infringing alternative to 
an implementation incorporating work covered as an Essential Claim. For 
example, the standard for SSL or S/MIME should be able to handle RSA and 
Diffie Hellman public key formats.


2. Require that only "leaf" Recommendations be developed incorporating RAND 
technology. For example, XML is not a "leaf" technology because other 
Recommendations refer to and depend on it. P3P may be currently considered 
a "leaf" technology; should it be a required pre-requisite for a future 
Recommendation, it should first be re-worked so it can be implemented as a 
Royalty-Free technology (either by changing the details of the 
Recommendation to avoid Essential Claims, or by requiring the patent owners 
to change their licensing to Royalty Free for such Claims). This would help 
prevent "core" Internet technology from being expensive to implement.


3. Require that "Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory" actually discriminate 
in the case of a free/not-for-profit implementation; that such an 
implementation should, if protected by a "viral" license such as GPL (so 
its derivatives also remain free), be granted a royalty-free license to use 
patented technology. This would unfortunately place the W3C in the position 
of evaluating potential licenses and declaring which ones were appropriate 
for such treatment; this may not actually turn out to be very difficult. It 
is likely to make Microsoft (who has 3! of 20 positions on the Policy team; 
Nortel, 2; Apple, 2; W3C, 4) terribly upset. :-)

Thank you for your time and consideration;
Luigi Bai
<A HREF="http://www.focalpoint.com/">Home Page</A>
education is what's left after what is learned is forgotten.
                                               -- b f skinner
Luigi P. Bai                             Focal Point Software, Inc.
lpb@focalpoint.com                 3701 Kirby Drive, Suite 512
turning data into information      Houston, TX   77098
                                               (713) 215-1600 x 33#
Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 14:25:27 UTC

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