Patent Policy

I feer that this patent policy is a very bad thing for the idea of
standards on the internet.  Standards will no longer belong to the
community, they will belong to whoever happens to patent them the

There's nothing to prevent someone like Microsoft from spreading around
a technology, not bothering to mention their patent until the technology
has become a standard and is widely implemented.  Then all of a sudden
they come swopping in alerting everyone to their patent and their
"reasonable" licensing fees.

However, it gets worse what's really to stop them from doing a
non-reasonable license fee?  As far as I can tell the only remedy is to
kick them out of W3.  But they are already so dominant with IE that they
can create defacto standards anyway.  So we'd rather have them in the W3
so we end up ignoring the violation.

While there was no Patent Policy and GIF is certainly no standard.  It
certainly was a defacto standard that this occurred with.  I think we
should be mindful of this past of patents and "standards."

Ben Reser <>

"Before you set out for revenge dig two graves."
- Chinese Saying

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 15:39:42 UTC