World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C) has begun what should be the final review of the proposed Royalty-Free Patent Policy that’s designed to reduce the threat of blocking patents on key components of Web infrastructure.
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Both W3C members (of which Apple is one) and the general public are encouraged to participate in the review, which will end April 30. A decision on the specifics of the final policy is due the following month.
The Patent Policy Working Group was created, in part, to make more concrete how W3C Working Groups could successfully work on Web standards in the evolving patent climate. Its goal is to enable W3C recommendations to be implemented on a royalty-free basis. The policy also requires patent disclosure by W3C Members when they are aware of patents, whether it’s their own or others, that may be essential to the implementation of W3C recommendations.
Group participants include: Apple; AOL; AT&T; Avaya; Daisy Consortium; Hewlett-Packard; IBM; ILOG S.A.; Intel; Lexmark; Microsoft; MITRE; Motorola; Nokia; Nortel Networks; The Open Group; Oracle; Philips Electronics; Reuters; Sun Microsystems; and Xerox Corp. Also included, by invitation, are experts from the Free Software Foundation, Software in the Public Interest, and the Open Source Initiative. For more info on W3C and the Royalty-Free Patent Policy, go to the consortium’s Web site.