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World Wide Web Consortium to Investigate Patent Validity

May 07, 1999, 14:13 (0 Talkback[s])

"The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)... is investigating the status of a patent claim which threatens open access to privacy protection technology known as the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P). To aid in its investigative efforts, W3C is calling on the Web Community for help in locating "prior art," technology whose existence could be relevant to the validity of the patent.

"There are growing incompatibilities between patents and open standards; the trend towards filing patents in areas where standards are already underway is cause for both concern and action," stated Daniel J. Weitzner, Technology and Society Domain Leader of W3C. "The Web and developer communities can be instrumental in providing the evidence required to render questionable patents invalid, thereby maintaining an open Web."

"Intermind recently received a U.S. patent, and has indicated that the patent may be infringed upon by W3C metadata standards, particularly P3P. The patent covers storage and transfer of "consumer" and "provider" information between two computers using a metadata control structure. Intermind has further stated that its "patents cover numerous additional features" of other communications technologies."

Complete story.