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Two comments on timing for essentiallity

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 17:56:17 +0200
To: <www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org>

This is two comments on

specifically the definition of essential claim.


Comment 1
I found the following text difficult to understand:
in any patent or patent application with an effective filing date prior to
the publication of the first public Working Draft of the specification and
extending until one year and one day after the publication of the first
public Working Draft

I believe that what you are trying to say is

in any patent or patent application with an effective filing date prior to
the day occurring one year and one day after the publication of the first
public Working Draft

Whether I have understood correctly or not, I suggest editorial polish
should be spent on this sentence (if it's not too late).

Comment 2

A more substantive comment is that, if I have understood correctly, this
assumes that the first WD is sufficient for clarifying what is essential.

I am not sure that this is the case.

As an example,

the current version of the OWL Test Cases document, specifies an OWL Syntax
Checker with some RFC 2119 MUSTs:


and by reference to the abstract syntax part of the OWL Semantics and
Abstract Syntax document.

The first publication date of this WD is unclear ...

It could mean:

24 October 2002

It could mean:
8 November 2002

It could mean:
29 July 2002

This definition first apppeared in
17th February 2003
and had been devised by the WG at our face-to-face meeting in January 2003.

I was concerned that this definition was unworkable (i.e. could not be
implemented), and successively argued for changes in owl-semantics, such
that an OWL syntax checker could be implemented using techniques that may
possibly be novel and/or inventive)

As part of HP's commitment to the royalty free nature of the WG, we made a
decision to publish these techniques in

10th March 2003

rather than to seek patent protection.

If these techniques are inventive, then we appear, under the patent policy
to have the possibility of filing for a patent in the US say on 1st March
2004, shortly before the year's grace period expires. Then even if these
techniques are in fact essential (which is not clear), they will not be
*essential* as defined in the patent policy, simply by calendar
considerations; and HP will be under no obligation under the patent policy
to issue a royalty free license.

Summary of situation - many small subtle changes were made between two of
the later drafts of owl-semantics that made significant difference to the
methods available for implementing an OWL Syntax Checker as defined in
owl-test. The new techniques were not apparent in the first WD of any of the
publications and so the timing calculations presumed by your section 8.1 do
not work in this case.

Given the lateness of this comment I doubt there is much you can do with it.
I would be happy to hear that it had been added to a postponed issues list.


Jeremy Carroll (as an individual comment)
Received on Monday, 12 May 2003 11:57:52 UTC

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