W3C Overview and its Patent Policy.

Daniel Dardailler

SOS Interoperability conf, ETSI

Sophia Antipolis, 26 May 2005

Daniel Dardailler <danield@w3.org>
W3C Associate Chair, Europe
Sophia Antipolis, France

W3C Exec Summary

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an International Consortium where Member and External organizations, a full-time technical staff, and the public work together to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing Web standards such as protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web.

Open Results ?

A lot of debates nowadays for a common definition of Open Standards.
My criteria:

W3C Results

W3C Technologies

W3C Patent Policy in a Nutshell

Director's Decision May 2003: The Policy affirms and strengthens the basic business model that has driven innovation on the Web from its inception. The availability of an interoperable, unencumbered Web infrastructure provides an expanding foundation for innovative applications, profitable commerce, and the free flow of information and ideas on a commercial and non-commercial basis.


Requirements for the PP License

Requirements for a license, (not license text itself):

  1. available to all
  2. all Essential Claims 'owned or controlled'
  3. field of use limitation
  4. reciprocity
  5. no fees
  6. defensive suspension
  7. no other conditions


Disclosure is required when actual knowledge of a patent related to Essential Claim(s) exists.

Disclosure statements are simple (patent number, Working Group and/or Recommendation to which it applies)

Disclosure Exemption:

Exception Handling (PAG)

In case of a known patent that may be essential, but is not available under W3C RF licensing requirements, a Patent Advisory Group (PAG) will be launched to resolve the conflict.

The PAG is an ad hoc group composed of:

Possible PAG Conclusions

  1. The initial concern has been resolved, enabling the Working Group to continue.
  2. The Working Group should be instructed to consider designing around the identified claims.
  3. The Team should seek further information and evaluation, including and not limited to evaluation of the patents in question or the terms under which W3C RF licensing requirements may be met.
  4. The Working Group should be terminated.
  5. The Recommendation (if it has already been issued) should be rescinded.
  6. Alternative licensing terms should be considered. The procedure for the RAND exception must be followed.

RAND exception