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Re: Preparing to launch the Forms Task Force ...

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 06:16:19 +0900
Message-ID: <45F86623.9060400@students.cs.uu.nl>
To: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
CC: public-html@w3.org
James Graham schreef:
>> This, to me, seems like the biggest issue.  The whole point of the 
>> patent
>> policy is to give reasonable assurance that the specification is free of
>> IP concerns.  Unless there is patent language that I missed, 
>> subsuming the
>> WHAT WG's HTML 5 spec would be opening up browser makers to be 
>> blindsided
>> at a later date.
> As far as I can tell the patent policy only provides the assurance 
> that members of the working group or the organisation they represent 
> do not have restrictive patents on the technologies needed to 
> implement the HTML spec. It does not protect against patents on these 
> technologies held by other parties. Therefore there is no significant 
> IP protection afforded by avoiding the Web Apps spec as a starting 
> point for the new HTML specification; implementors are immune to 
> patent lawsuits from the same group of people.

If I were to mention <canvas> on the WHATWG mailing list, and I had 
developed a <canvas> plugin for a browser as a proof-of-concept, I could 
file a patent for it, perhaps sell it to a few companies for intranet 
applications, wait for massive browser adoption, and then sue them all, 
with my plugin and original messages as proof that I was indeed the 
inventor of the idea. There is big money there. With the W3C patent 
policy, and original proposals by individuals/organisations covered 
under that policy, that can’t happen.

That’s what seems the added value to me. You do not have to be a major 
browser vendor in order to carry a browser-related patent. Look at 
Eolas, whom nobody heard of until it was too late. Look at GIF, or MP3, too.


Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san nan da!!
Laurens Holst, student, university of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Website: www.grauw.nl. Backbase employee; www.backbase.com.

Received on Wednesday, 14 March 2007 21:16:41 UTC

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