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OpenPHD.net: W3C Patent Policy: Latest News

Jan 28, 2002, 17:20 (3 Talkback[s])

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."

Complete 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. ]

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