W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org > January 2003

Royalty Free Patent Policy

From: C. Conrad Cady <conrad@cadytech.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 05:58:55 -0800
Message-ID: <3E11A29F.5060701@cadytech.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

If my understanding is correct, then the free grant to use a patent 
within a W3C recommendation might be encumbered if that same patent is 
used for some non-W3C recommendation.

I do not claim to understand all the vagaries of the issue, but it seems 
to me that this clause could be abused to put a stop to some very 
important developments of free software.  I can imagine a situation 
where a free software developer wants to implement a subset of a 
recommendation (say on a small device) and in doing so, could be sued 
because the patent grant is valid only when the full recommendation was 
implemented.  Or perhaps a developer want to implement a non-standard 
version of XSLT based on his/her native language, s/he might be 
precluded from doing so without the payment of royalties.

I understand the desires of the contributors to be able to monetize a 
patent on something when used in an entirely different context than a 
W3C recommendation, but allowing this clause provides a slippery slope 
which the patent holders can abuse when a developer strays even slightly 
from the W3C recommendation.

I respectfully request that the W3C remove this patent grant restriction.
Received on Thursday, 2 January 2003 14:21:56 UTC

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