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Re: SVG Patent Licensiong

From: Bernhard Herzog <bh@intevation.de>
Date: 26 Jul 2001 11:56:50 +0200
To: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Cc: Dave J Woolley <david.woolley@bts.co.uk>, www-svg@w3.org
Message-ID: <6qelr4dndp.fsf@abnoba.intevation.de>
Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org> writes:

> Dave J Woolley wrote:
> > 
> > > From: Robert DiBlasi [SMTP:r_diblasi@hotmail.com]
> > >
> > > http://www.w3.org/2001/07/SVG10-IPR-statements.html
> > >
> > [DJW:]  This appears to have an internal conflict
> > in that Adobe are listed as royalty free in the summary,
> > but the later text seems to make this conditional on
> > everyone else being royalty free, a condition that
> > is not met.
> 
> In other words, if you do not claim royalties from them, they give a
> royalty free license


What Adobe's statement on the webpage says is:

    In the event that all current members of the SVG 1.0 Working Group
    agree to negotiate Royalty-Free Licenses (as defined below) under
    any Essential Claims (as defined below) reading on the Specification
    to make, use, sell, offer for sale or import portions of
    implementations required by the Specification, Adobe Systems
    Incorporated and its affiliates (collectively, "Adobe" or "Member")
    agree to negotiate Royalty-Free Licenses on such terms. In the event
    that such members do not so agree, Adobe agrees to negotiate such
    licenses on a RAND License (as defined below) basis.

To me this clearly says that Adobe only offers a Royalty-Free License if
*all* working group members also do so. Since some of them don't, it
seems that Adobe will only offer RAND licenses. Or am I misunderstanding
this?

> and thus the whole question of what patents they
> have ansd whether they apply simply does not arise).

I wish it were that simple. The question of what patents they have and
whether they apply and to what part of SVG exactly they apply still
arises. The definition of Essential Claims says:

    "Essential Claims" shall mean all claims in any patent or patent
    application [...] that would necessarily be infringed by
    implementation of the Recommendation. A claim is necessarily
    infringed hereunder only when it is not possible to avoid infringing
    it because there is no non-infringing alternative for implementing
    the required portions of the Recommendation.

I.e. if there is a way to implement a required feature of the
recommendation that does not infringe a patent - even one for which a
Royalty-Free License is given - I have to use that way. So, I still have
to know which parts of SVG are covered by patents and determine whether
non-infringing implementations are possible.

Furthermore, these licenses only apply to *required* portions of the
Recommendation. I'm not familiar enough with the specification at the
moment to point to any area where this may be a problem, though.

   Bernhard

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Received on Thursday, 26 July 2001 05:57:38 GMT

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