Adam Warner has a page tracking the latest developments in the
W3C Patent Policy issue. Mr. Warner wrote the very useful critique
that first broke the issue of patents and the W3C to a wide
audience and he continues to follow the situation, including the
latest news on the proposed procedure for dealing with
patent-encumbered standards within W3C working groups:
"In the document Current Patent Practice: W3C Note 24
January 2002 , Daniel Weitzner sets out a summary of the W3C's
current policy position. Being essentially a restatement of draft
policy there is little new ("This document draws heavily on the
work of the PPWG [Patent Policy Working Group], although it has not
been approved by that group.")
Having reviewed the document these are my primary concerns:
There is no mention in the document about an additional Last
Call Working Draft by the PPWG:
A final patent policy is also under development by the W3C
Patent Policy Working Group (Members only). Nothing in this
document will prejudice or constrain the outcome of that policy
development work. The final policy will be subject to W3C Advisory
Committee review and a formal decision by the Director.
This appears to contrast with this 21 November 2001 statement,
also by Daniel Weitzner:
The final decision about W3C's patent policy will be
made after the PPWG has developed a new proposal, the public has
had another chance to comment, and the W3C membership has had it's
chance to express its views formally to the Director."
28 January 2002 Update: I sent a clarifying question to Daniel
Weitzner and he provided a detailed reply to the PPWG mailing list:
"there will be a second 'Last Call' period before the policy is
submitted for final review by W3C Members."
Story[ Please make it a point to click through to this
page and follow the material presented there: the issue is more
involved than we can excerpt easily, and it is still evolving. -ed.