W3C Interaction Domain

HTML Patent Advisory Group Charter

This charter is written in accordance with the W3C Current Patent Practice, section 4 (Patent Advisory Groups (PAG)).

Table of Contents

1 Goals

The HTML Patent Advisory Group (HTML PAG) is a Patent Advisory Group as defined by the W3C Current Patent Practice (CPP).

The mission of this Patent Advisory Group is to study issues for HTML-related Working Drafts and Recommendations raised by the court case of Eolas v. Microsoft and US Patent 5,838,906. The court ordered that in the specific case at hand, royalty fees should be paid to the holder of US Patent 5,838,906. As a consequence,this PAG is triggered by condition 2) in Section 4 of the CPP, which states that a PAG can be created in the case of "discovery of specific patent claims likely to be essential that are not available on RF terms".

The HTML PAG should:

  1. advise the W3C Director on the probability that the above patent claims will in practice result in a requirement that implementers of HTML take licenses from Eolas for essential claims for HTML-related specifications that deviate from the W3C Royalty-Free Licensing Requirements as defined in the W3C Patent Policy
  2. attempt to resolve concerns raised by the claims in the subject patent

Potential solutions include, but are not limited to, changes to HTML-related specifications to avoid US Patent 5,838,906, a request for an analysis of the claims by W3C patent counsel or other legal measures as may be required.

Any recommendations from the PAG ought to include consideration of legal and technical impact on implementers and Web users, potential legal liability of PAG participants, and means to cover costs of legal actions proposed.

2 Duration

The HTML PAG is chartered for 90 days, starting from 24 Sept 2003. The PAG may seek an extension of time from the Director, but must state a reason for extension and report on progress to date.

3 Confidentiality

The mailing list archives of the HTML PAG are member-only.

This charter as well as the PAG report to the Director will be public. At regular intervals, the PAG should also provide status updates to the public.

4 Participation, meetings, and logistics

4.1 Participation

The PAG composition is described in Section 4.1 of the CPP as follows:

The PAG is composed of:

W3C Member participants in the PAG should be authorized to represent their organizations' views on patent licensing issues. Any participant in the PAG may also be represented by legal counsel, though this is not required. Invited experts are not entitled to participate in the PAG, though the PAG may chose to invite any qualified experts who would be able to assist the PAG in its determinations.

Each W3C Member's AC Rep should advise the PAG Chair and the W3C Team contacts whether their organization will participate in the PAG, and if so, who will represent them. Those Members participating must indicate explicit agreement to this charter.

HTML PAG participation (attending meetings, following the mailing list) is expected to consume half a day per week.

4.2 Communications

A Member-only archived mailing list <member-html-pag@w3.org> will be used for announcements of meetings, discussions etc. To communicate with the public, the PAG should use the public-web-plugins@w3.org list.

4.3 Group home page

The Patent Advisory Group has a home page (Member-only) that records the history of the group, provides access to the archives, meeting minutes, updated schedule of deliverables, membership list, and relevant documents and resources. The page will be maintained by the W3C Team contact in collaboration with the Chair.

4.4 Meetings

The PAG will primarily work via teleconferences.

Unless modified by consensus of the PAG, a one hour PAG teleconference will be held every week.

Participation in meetings (distributed or face-to-face) is limited to the participants described in Section 4.1 of the CPP and to individuals invited at the discretion of the Chair to specific meetings.

4.5 W3C Team involvement

As described in Section 4.1 of the CPP, the team participants in the HTML PAG will be:

  1. Team contacts for the HTML WG: Masayasu Ishikawa
  2. Interaction Domain Leader: Philipp Hoschka.

The WG Chair, Steven Pemberton, will participate ex officio, and is also a team member.

The PAG Chair will be Alan Kotok, W3C Associate Chair. A co-chair may be added at the discretion of the Director.