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

comments on patent policy

From: Terrell Mitchell <terrellm@usit.net>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 15:27:21 -0400
Message-ID: <000801c14dd3$c13c0960$0302a8c0@twocedars.com>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
I appreciate the difficulty your organization may be having with software patents. But, I don't believe you should ever start a working group with the intention of using patented technology. Many companies are willing to donate technology or provide royalty free usage of their patented technology to see it made into a standard. There is already enough tension with companies trying to get a head start by steering a standard toward their solution. Don't reward them for it.
Standards and these types of organizations are used whenever possible by the commercial ventures. I saw it on the ANSI committees. You must do what you can to prevent this and make sure there is never any appearance of impropriety.

1) I believe you should stick to royalty free licensing. Deciding to avoid patented technology is not ignoring it. It is choosing not to use it.

2) You should implement the disclosure requirements as a requisite to participating in a working group or W3C.

3) In the overview they state a desire to protect proprietary technology. That is not the purpose of a standards organization. If they have such wonderful secret technology, keep it a home and sell it. If you want it a standard, let everyone use it for free. And don't try to tell me no-one will. It has been done many times.

4) Future work will not be hindered by FUD, if you state up front that all standards are royalty free. I understand the fear of submarine patents, but you can address them when it happens. And with disclosure, you won't have a member steering you toward a technology covered by a submarine patent.

Thank You
Terrell Mitchell
Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 15:24:05 UTC

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