http://www.w3.org/ -- 8 February 1999 -- W3C is dedicated to creating specifications and software that are available to the public for any purpose and without fee or royalty. As the Web continues to grow in reach and utility, the W3C reiterates its commitment to the evolution of new technologies that may be implemented by all, without restriction.
Recently, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded patent #5860073 for Style Sheet technology. Without complete legal analysis, W3C cannot make a statement regarding how the patent affects style sheet technologies (CSS, XSL) developed within W3C. We do note that Style sheets were used with the first Web browser, and proposals on cascading style sheets arose from CERN in 1994. Further, W3C's own licensing agreements reinforce its open practices.
The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, reference code implementations to embody and promote standards, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 300 organizations are Members of the Consortium.
For more information about the World Wide Web Consortium, see http://www.w3.org/