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Patent threat over RDF?

From: Uche Ogbuji <uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com>
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 09:30:00 -0700
Message-Id: <200201021630.g02GU0621249@localhost.localdomain>
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org, www-rdf-comments@w3.org
To start the New Year on a toasty note, I received a bulky Fedex from a Terry 
K. Qualey at an IP law firm.  It appears that tey represent a company called 
Unified Data Technologies, Ltd., holders of U.S. Patent s #5,684,985 and 
#6,092,077, as well as, to quote the letter, "other applicationsa pending on 
this technology that are currently confidential."

A couple more relevant excerpts:

"Implementations of the well-known [RDF] and [RSS] technologies, among other 
uses, may be covered by one or more of the claims of UDTL's patents."

"UDTL is currently offering opportunities to either jointly develop software, 
or to license the technology from UDTL."

Well, if they've sent this pleasantry to a developer of an open-source RDF 
implementation, then they have probably sent it to others as well.  Has anyone 
else received this?  The bulk of the package is copy of the patent texts.  A 
quick skim makes it quite look as if they are trolling: I don't see any but 
the most tenuous connection to RDF.  But I gether from my uninformed, anxious 
reading on patent warfare that merit hardly matter, but rather the ability for 
the patent holder to ruin true or perceived comeptitors with frivolous claims 
that bear the dubious stamp of the USPTO.

Considering the goals for a distributed and multi-platform Semantic Web, this 
letter seems to be an anarchist's grenade.  What is there to be done about it?

O yeah.  Happy New Year.


-- 
Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +1 303 583 9900 x 101
Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com 
4735 East Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
XML strategy, XML tools (http://4Suite.org), knowledge management
Received on Wednesday, 2 January 2002 11:42:43 GMT

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