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

Vote NO on RAND Patents

From: Christian Mogensen <mogens@newmedia.no>
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 01:15:32 +0200
Message-ID: <000501c14a05$cdaacfa0$464547d4@xt1>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
The W3C was created to give companies a quiet place to work out their
differences without involving a full IETF working group. The basis for this
was the headlong rush of HTML development around Netscape 2-3, far beyond
the pace of the IETF HTML-WG standardization work going on in 1994-1995. The
open forums of the IETF were too slow and too noisy for development and

The point is that  the W3C should not be more restrictive than the IETF,
since W3C output should be seen as the start of an IETF standards-track RFC.

The PAG gives four reasons for the proposed change:
>1. Convergence
The fact that the neighbours in the ITU regularly beat each other over the
head with patents does not mean we in the 'net world should start. I mean,
look at the breathtaking pace of innovation in the telecoms sector.

<sarcasm>ISDN and ATM is a ringing endorsement of the ITU/ISO method of

>2. Rise in patent issuance
So yes, there are more mines to trip on out there. Either the patent holder
should agree to Royalty Free licensing, or their patent will not be endorsed
as standard. This is the IETF policy, and it seems to work. The iDNS WG is
an example of this pressure at work.

>3. Experience of Internet-related standards bodies
"A number of standards bodies including W3C, IETF, the WAP Forum, and
others, have encountered potential barriers to acceptance of standards
because of licensing requirements perceived as onerous."

This point is basically saying that Royalty Free is the way to go.

>4. Popularity of business method patents

This affects the W3C exactly how? If you can come up with a business-method
patent that claims the HTTP standard to be infringing, then the patent
system is broken beyond repair.

If W3C members want to submit patented claims to the W3C, then by all means,
let them document where their claims lie, but only so the final
recommendation can avoid them. If they want their patented technology to be
a standard under RAND rules, then let them go to the ITU or ISO and play
with their patented ball there.

Christian Mogensen
Product Developer and ye olde HTML-WG member
Oslo, Norway
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 19:15:57 UTC

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