Does Shana patent 6,028,938 impact XForms?

It has been brought to my attention that Shana has secured a patent (US
6,028,938) that relates to XForms. Details are available in their press
release [1].

A review of recent messages on the W3C patent-issues list archive [2]
indicates no IPR disclosures regarding this patent. As a co-editor of the
XForms Specification [3], some of the claims made by Shana are troubling.
The press release states:

"It is anticipated that the technology covered by this patent will be of
real interest to the [XForms] Working Group."

This, to me, muddies the waters significantly, as it calls into question
whether the XForms Working Group is free to proceed with our plan to create
"the next generation of Web forms". For instance, will interactions between
XForms and XML Signatures be impacted by Shana IPR claims?

The W3C Process Document [4] states:

"W3C promotes an open working environment. Whenever possible, technical
decisions should be made unencumbered by intellectual property right (IPR)

To begin resolving this situation, I believe we will need:

1) A statement from the XForms and/or XML Signature working group that the
open W3C technologies are non-infringing (if, in fact, such a statement can
be made),


2) A full IPR disclosure from Shana in accordance with W3C process,
including their policy for licensing this patent to implementers of XForms
and XML Signatures, should that need arise.


Micah J. Dubinko, CDIA
Cardiff Product Manager
Chief XML Architect
V: (760) 936-4639
F: (760) 936-4800


Received on Friday, 26 January 2001 18:05:34 UTC