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

What is reasonable?

From: Eric Richardson <eric.richardson@milagrosoft.com>
Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 12:11:33 -0700
Message-ID: <3BBE05E5.6080805@milagrosoft.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
To the W3,

Reasonable is a word of degree. The interpretation depends on your point 
of view and the circumstances surrounding the interpretation. What is 
discriminatory is also up to interpretation. Reasonable and 
non-discriminatory (RAND) is at best fuzzy when it comes to interpretation.

Patents use can span the range from Free use to Exclusive rights. RAND 
spans the entire spectrum between Free and Exclusive. Exclusive could 
even be described as RAND as exclusive rights could be considered RAND 
because the patent may serve a public interest and benefit society. This 
is the purpose of the patent system in the first place. Of course this 
is at the expense of freely implementable knowledge.

Free software relies on No patents or royalty-free (RF) patents. 
Anything less than this will not support Free Software. Is this 
reasonable? RAND by definition is not RF, it is everything else. I don't 
think RAND and open standards are compatable at all. Free software is an 
important part of many businesses and this should not be ignored.

RAND is incompatable with the W3's mission so I would hope that the 
patent policy would be completely rewritten supporting only RF licensing 
for patents. Patents have no purpose in the software business and are 
discriminatory, not reasonably, and not in the public interest.

Eric Richardson
Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 15:11:54 UTC

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