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W3C Patent Policy Framework working draft

From: Bob Goates <bob.goates@echostar.com>
Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2001 14:39:25 -0600
Message-ID: <3BC20EFD.93276F78@echostar.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
CC: letters@lwn.net
WWW Patent Policy Working Group

Sirs:

I have a comment regarding the Working Draft of 16 August 2001 of the
W3C Patent Policy Framework.

In section 4.(a)2 it is stated that Essential Claims will not include
"claims which would be infringed only by ... enabling technologies that
may be necessary to make or use any product or portion thereof that
complies with the Recommendation but are not themselves expressly set
forth in the Recommendation (e.g., semiconductor manufacturing
technology, compiler technology, object-oriented technology, basic
operating system technology, and the like)."

I am concerned that this limitation on the definition of "Essential
Claims" will allow a standard to be adopted, without appropriate
licensing requirements, that depends on the proprietary API (Application
Programming Interface) of a proprietary operating system.  In other
words, the standard would require users to purchase a specific
proprietary operating system in order to use products based on the
standard.  I believe such a situation would be unacceptable and contrary
to the tradition of World Wide Web usage.

A similar problem might crop up with the implied exclusion of other
software interfaces from the definition of "Essential Claims".

A possible solution to this problem is to remove the wording "compiler
technology, object-oriented technology, basic operating system
technology" from section 4.(a)2 and add to the definition of "Essential
Claims" the statement:  "Any claim regarding a software interface, which
interface is required by a standard, will be considered an Essential
Claim."

Thank you.

Bob Goates
r.goates@ieee.org
Received on Monday, 8 October 2001 16:31:36 GMT

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