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

abuse of patents should not extend into standards realm

From: John McMahon <john@extentech.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 22:49:11 -0700
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>, "Nick Rab" <nick@extentech.com>
Once again, patent law is being extended into new and inappropriate corners
of the intellectual property space by profit-maximizing IP lawyers working
for large software companies.  It would be a badge of honor for one of these
folks to prove in court that we should pay their bosses an hourly rate for
speaking the English language, or tolls for walking on certain types of

The intent of patent law is to provide an incentive to innovate by ensuring
that investments in technology and creativity can be capitalized upon
without the effect of plagiarism sapping an initial competitive advantage.

The entire concept of accepted computing standards is to be an interface for
innovation -- not for the standards to be the innovation.  Standards provide
an interface for innovation by allowing true innovation in the
implementations to provide the benefits of intellectual property to those
that do the work of implementing the standard.

By hijacking the concept of open standards, large corporations are
attempting to monopolize our online experience, and extract additional
pounds of flesh from anyone that needs to interact with these protocols.

Imagine the 'chilling-effect' that would have occurred on the internet if
the use of http had been licensed from Microsoft.

I'd argue that the internet as we know it would not exist.

Creating pay-to-play standards will only ensure that the next great protocol
will serve to enrich the few, and stifle competition in what is quickly
becoming our choice-free world.

John McMahon
CEO, Extentech Inc.

Received on Saturday, 6 October 2001 01:49:24 UTC

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