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Impact on existing WG's

From: Bob Cunnings <cunnings@whitemesa.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 21:24:42 -0600
Message-ID: <00ab01c14a28$9c81e3f0$0301a8c0@delta>
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>
Although I've reviewed the FAQ and backgrounder, it remains unclear to me
what the impact of the new policy will be on existing Working Groups.
Will they have to re-charter at some point after the policy goes into
effect?
Or will they by default be designated as working in "RF" licensing mode?

So what does the policy offer for Royalty Free standard development? The FAQ
states:

"It is expected that the new Patent Policy will make it easier for WGs to
conduct technical business by removing IPR issues from the process. The
licensing mode and disclosure requirements are clearly established and any
major issue with either of those items will trigger the creation of an ad
hoc PAG to resolve the problem(s)."

It is the existence of a mechanism that could result in the unexpected
dissolution of a "RF" WG, or a change in its licensing mode, because a
"major issue" has arisen, that blunts the promise of the Patent Policy. At
no time will IPR issues be completely "removed" from the process.

Iit seems possible that the progress of a WG with an "RF" charter could
be significantly disrupted [1] by an unpleasant "surprise" involving patent
claims, such as a WG participant having a change of heart regarding a
contribution. The process of convening an ad hoc PAG, etc. would be
cumbersome and time consuming. Even if unrealized, the mere threat of such a
eventuality might lead to confusion and delays, or even poison the
relationships
between participants.

My point is that it seems that a new risk is introduced, without a clear
benefit.

RC

[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/08/16-PP-FAQ.html#[4-11]
Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 23:22:54 GMT

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