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Comments on the 14 November last call draft

From: Jason White <jasonjgw@pacific.net.au>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 18:06:10 +1100
Message-ID: <15836.34274.107602.274655@jdc.local>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

I am writing purely in my personal capacity (not as a representative
of any organization or individual whatsoever) in support of the policy
set forth in the 14 November draft. In particular, I am strongly in
favour of the working group's decision to require the licencing of
essential claims under royalty-free terms, and not to allow a
so-called RAND exception as part of the policy. In my view, the term
"RAND" is a misnoma: a RAND licence discriminates unreasonably against
non-commercial development projects, against developers of "free" (or
"open-source") implementations, and against commercial developers who,
for whatever reason, are unwilling or unable to make royalty payments.
Such a RAND exception would also discourage implementation and
adoption of the Recommendation, in some cases leading to fragmentation
of the standard through the emergence of alternative technologies not
subject to RAND-licenced patent claims. As a special case of the
above, a RAND policy would invite the creation, where feasible, of
non-interoperable implementations of the specification, arising from
efforts to "design around" those essential claims to which RAND
licencing terms apply.

For these reasons I support the royalty-free licencing and disclosure
provisions of the last call draft.

By way of specific comment, it would be helpful to include, in an
appendix, the "standard language" to be used in working group
Charters, requests for participation and W3C specifications,
respectively, in regard to the patent policy and the disclosure
obligations which it creates. Such language could either be normative
or informative, depending on whether there is a reasonable prospect
that the language might have to be varied somewhat according to the
context of the individual document or the working group involved. Of
course, W3C publication rules would then need to be updated to take
account of the new policy.
Received on Thursday, 21 November 2002 02:17:30 GMT

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