W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > March 1999

Re: Official statement from Microsoft concerning CSS, XSL and US Pate nt No. 5,860,073

From: Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 1999 23:32:23 GMT
To: Chris Wilson <cwilso@MICROSOFT.com>
Cc: "'www-style@w3.org'" <www-style@w3.org>, standards@mercury.projectcool.com
Message-ID: <36ecae3a.1574360150@smtpserver.swip.net>
On Tue, 9 Mar 1999 11:47:47 -0800 , you wrote:

>There has been much discussion of this issue on both of these lists, so I
>thought it might be appropriate to forward this statement to these lists as

>> "Microsoft agrees that any W3C member or other party will be able to
>> obtain a license under Microsoft's US Patent No. 5,860,073 to implement
>> and use the technology described in W3C Recommendations for Cascading
>> Style Sheets (CSS) and the EXtensible Style Language (XSL) for the purpose
>> of supporting such standards, on a royalty-free basis. One condition of
>> this license shall be the party's agreement to not assert patent rights
>> against Microsoft and other companies for their implementation of those
>> standards. Microsoft expressly reserves all other rights it may have in
>> the material and subject matter of this contribution."
>> -Chris Wilson
>> Internet Explorer Team
>> Microsoft Corporation

[1] Oh, wonderful. I will be able to obtain a license?
    Have the company you work for gone totally nuts?
    If you, BG, or anyone else inside MS, thinks that I'm going
    to ask permission to author my own stylesheets,
    think again please.

[2] If you would have ever found it comfortable to establish a
    sound inter-company communication with the MS-Word development
    team, you could have had a fully CSS compliant browser on the
    market some years ago, since the MS-Word team have been
    sitting on all the rendering code you would have ever had a
    need for (and they have had it since late 80'ies).
    Now MS is telling us, strengthened by a (US only) patent, not to
    "criticize" whatever comes out of "the empire"
    I would find it to be a rather fun experience to see MS try
    to "enforce" their standpoint in a Swedish court, and under
    Swedish law. See you (and MS) there if you are interested.

And now Chris, you have on certain occasions tried to tell us all that
you had "such a hard time to sell internally" the idea of MS to really
go into acceptance of CSS support in their browsers as the next route?

All of a sudden we find out that MS filed for this patent already back
in 1995 and it's been just standard burocracy delays that made it come
through just now.

Hmm.. let's see now. In 1995 you where not that "old in employment"
right? You did not have that much influence on MS browser development
either at that time (if MS even had a browser then, which I doubt) My
own English/American WinNT4ws CD from the very first release in late
1996 has MSIE2 on it.

Someone inside MS has fooled you all over Chris, this patent application
went in "above your head" and then you have of course been "fighting" to
get CSS into a company that had already tried to "secure their future"
in that very same area, phui...

Jan Roland Eriksson <jrexon@newsguy.com>
Received on Tuesday, 9 March 1999 18:28:52 UTC

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