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Re: patent pending -- is this a bad precedent

From: Matthew Lye <mlye@trentu.ca>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 98 17:29:51 -0500
Message-Id: <199802202229.RAA18042@spartan.ac.BrockU.CA>
To: "Tony Sanders" <sanders@earth.com>, <www-talk@w3.org>
On 2/20/1998 12:04 PM, Tony Sanders wrote:

>Maybe we need to start an organizational fund to fight patent abuses
>such as trying to patent an HTML tag.

Or trying to patent PostScript!

Seriously, though, large organizations have much, much more to gain 
selling applications that use a 'public' protocol than they have to lose 
by investing in the development of that protocol in the first place, 
especially if they can influence the direction of development.
Smaller organizations can't always absorb such development costs.  Even 
if original-poster-dude's ideas are ultimately not marketable, in the 
general case labour's been invested...  and he doesn't have the same 
choice between trying to sell portions of 'water' (one kind of many) or 
specifying the nature of all water...

I'm not sure you could even try to obtain a patent for something if you 
walked in calling it an 'HTML tag'.  You'd be laughed out of the office, 
no?  Wouldn't the use of the name somewhat undermine the case that the 
...whatever... was not derivative?

Somewhat not very articulately today,
Matt.
Received on Friday, 20 February 1998 17:29:28 GMT

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