Call for review: Proposed Updated W3C Patent Policy

[resending to add the Process Community Group’s public mailing list; and communicate that the *deadline for comments is 31 May 2020*]

Dear Advisory Committee Representative, Chairs,
Advisory Board, or member of the public,

Process 2020, which is currently under review [1] proposes a new mode of continuous development: living standards at Candidate Recommendation. 

The Patents and Standards Interest Group (PSIG) accepted the challenge of revising the Patent Policy to match, endeavoring to secure patent commitments at snapshots of the Candidate Recommendations (Patent Review Drafts), while preserving the Consortium's stable, trusted patent policy.

PSIG members worked at an accelerated pace to address these goals, working on the principle of minimal necessary amendments to the existing policy. 
The draft [2] (and diff [3]) represents the group's current thinking, including a few open issues. PSIG will continue to work to close these issues and also to respond to new comments.


The following are the major changes:

Newly defined terms (2):

 • "Specification" refers to a W3C technical report published on the
    Recommendation Track.
 • "Patent Review Draft" refers to a version of a W3C Specification,
    defined as such by the W3C Process, that is published for patent
    review and exclusion.

Specification Licensing Commitments and their Persistence (3.5, 3.6):

Working Group Participants who choose not to exclude Essential Claims against a Specification when provided the opportunity to do so, commit to license Essential Claims related to that Specification.

That commitment persists through subsequent Patent Review Drafts that "use the Essential Claim in a substantially similar manner and to a substantially similar extent with a substantially similar result as the Essential Claim was used in the Patent Review Draft."

An open issue remains whether an additional requirement must also be satisfied for the commitment to extend to future Patent Review Drafts. PSIG considered options [2a] and [2b]:

[2a] (ii) such subsequent Patent Review Draft or Recommendation is
within the scope of the Working Group’s charter as it existed at the
time of the Member’s Licensing Commitment to the Specification.


[2b] (ii) the _portion of such_ subsequent Patent Review Draft or
Recommendation _used by the Essential Claim_ is within the scope of the
Working Group’s charter as it existed at the time of the Member’s
Licensing Commitment to the Specification.

Further conforming changes have been made throughout (4-8) to reflect the defined terms and possibility of multiple Patent Review Drafts.

We seek input on this draft, including any expressions of support or concern, by 31 May 2020.
Advisory Committee representatives are encouraged to share the proposed changes with their legal teams to get their comments. Members are also encouraged to join PSIG as we try to reach resolution on the open issues. Comments can also be sent to

Thanks to all the PSIG participants,

For Don Deutsch, Chair, PSIG,
Wendy Seltzer, team contact, PSIG;
Coralie Mercier, Head of W3C Marketing & Communications

Coralie Mercier  -  W3C Marketing & Communications - +337 810 795 22

Received on Tuesday, 14 April 2020 13:59:25 UTC