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

Patents and standards

From: El-Gayar, Omar <Omar.El-Gayar@dsu.edu>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 12:16:14 -0500
Message-ID: <C774AE9AD2A6D3119C6900C00D0143B501BC8761@exchange.dsu.edu>
To: "'www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org'" <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
I cannot believe this is even proposed. With this patent arrangement, it is
no longer an open standard. While patents are designed to protect the
inventor, thereby creating an incentive for inventors (and potential
inventors) to pursue their ideas, I do not think it can be created at this
scale, i.e., in standards.

Standards always existed without patents. It existed out of a recognized
need by industry leaders that it is to the benefit of all stakeholders. In
other words, the incentives for creating standards exist and I fail to
envision the need to further strengthening the incentives using patents.

On the other side, including patents in standards can be indeed harmful.
With the commercialization of standards through patents, very few companies
(if not one) will end up controlling the entire industry, thereby hindering
innovation over the long run. Moreover, the stakes will be much higher. For
those companies that already a patent, having their patent included in the
standard is know more important than ever. These companies will tend to
engage in rent-seeking lobbying activities resulting in overall

To conclude, do NOT do it. The incentives for standards are already there.
Received on Friday, 12 October 2001 13:18:54 UTC

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