"It's hard to defend the intertwining of Web standards
and patents. Where would we be today without royalty-free standards
like HTML, HTTP and XML?
But it's not surprising to see this development occur. Savvy
vendors, from Microsoft to IBM to Sun have been "gaming" the
standards process for years now.
When operating from a position of weakness--think of Microsoft
early in the Web browser game, or today with instant
messaging--touting open standards has become a standard tactical
move. Alternatively, when a vendor owns a de facto standard, the
W3C or other standards bodies often become an after-thought.
Attempting to patent W3C contributions takes that gamesmanship
to dangerous levels, and threatens the very foundation of the
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