[JDEV] New Patent Policy at W3C

Ashvil ashvil at i3connect.net
Tue Oct 2 06:57:51 CDT 2001

There were some good responses to the new W3C patent policy. 

The W3C has put out a new reponse

Oliver Jones wrote:
> W3C is trying to prevent the element of surprise--a submarine patent surfacing and its owner demanding payment after standardization.  This is an entirely good goal, I think.

I agree 100% that submarine patents are bad and any attempt to eliminate them will be good. But reading the document I am not very clear if what happens when a company finds that it has a patent relating a royalty free standard. It seems that the company then has to license the patents under RAND terms and NOT royalty free terms.   

Oliver Jones wrote:
> Strangely enough, the GNU Public License does NOT include explicit permission to actually USE the software it covers, only to copy and make derivative works of it.  I fear this omission in the GPL is going to be crucial in resolving some upcoming patent litigation (see www.freedb.org). 

Please explain. 


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