No patents as standards ...

By allowing patented technology to become an officially recognized standard,
you essentially favor the creator of the patent in such a manner as to drive
all business in that technology to a small group of vendors. The only
official standards should be those that are open and freely available to all

For example, GIF should not be a recognized standard, because of the
encumbrances by Unisys. The PNG standard is a much better choice because it
does not base itself on one company's technology and can be adopted by all.
The software used to create a patent can be trademarked, copyrighted, etc.,
in the author's mannter of choosing, but it does not restrict the file
format itself. The PNG format will never undergo the kinds of hassles
various authors of GIF-related programs due to Unisys entanglements.

A consequence of recognizing patented technology is that the W3C runs a
severe risk of appearing biased in favor of one company's standard. This
will open the W3C up to lawsuits by those whose technologies failed to make
the standard. Even the argument of technological superiority would not hold
up in court because there is no way to empirically prove that one technology
is better than another for all applications.

Thank you,
Albert A. Freeman

Received on Sunday, 30 September 2001 16:40:01 UTC