W3C | Submissions

Team Comment on the DAML+OIL Submission

W3C is pleased to receive the DAML+OIL Submission from Lucent and their collaborators.

DAML+OIL was developed by a joint US/EU Agent Markup Language committee, with participation from the DAML project and from the OIL project. The proceedings of this joint committee are available to the public.

DAML+OIL has reached a considerable level of implementation of deployment, including a library of 170 ontologies and a collection of 39 tools.

The submission includes two forms of formal specification (axiomatic and model-theoretic semantics) as well as a walkthru, reference materials, and RDF/xml vocabulary description.

The W3C Semantic Web Activity includes an advanced development component which devotes W3C Team resources to research and development of Semantic Web technology. This includes a "Semantic Web Development" project funded under the DARPA DAML project. The W3C Team participated in the development of DAML+OIL as part of this project.

Patent Licensing Considerations

The submission request includes an assurance of royalty-free license of any patent claims essential to implement DAML+OIL from six of the seven collaborators. The collaborator from Lucent, Peter F. Patel-Schneider "has no personal knowledge of any patents or patent applications owned by Lucent Technologies, Inc., which apply to the DAML+OIL submission," but Lucent has not agreed to license any patent claims it may have on a royalty-free basis. Instead, Lucent reserves the right to charge a reasonable, non-discriminatory fee for use of any essential patent claims it may hold.The "licensing practice described in a letter on file with the W3C dated March 1, 1999" from Lucent states:

This is to affirm that Lucent Technologies Inc., in accordance with long-established practice, will offer patent licenses for submissions made by it which are adopted or recommended as a standard by your organization as follows:

If part(s) of a submission by Lucent is(are) included in a standard and Lucent has patents and/or pending application(s) that are essential to implementation of such included part(s) in said standard, Lucent is prepared to grant - on the basis of receiprocity (grantback) - a license on such included part(s) on reasonable, non-discriminatory terms and conditions.

As noted below, this submission will be considered by the Web Ontology Working Group, which is required by charter to produce a specification that can be implemented on a royalty-free basis. The fact that one of the submitters has not made a royalty-free commitment is a potential roadblock to this work. If any specific patent claims that may be essential to implement the specification are disclosed by Lucent or anyone, then a Patent Advisory Group would be formed to consider the implications and make recommendations as to whether or how to proceed.

Next Steps

The submission request suggest that this work be considered as a starting point for work in the Web Ontology (WebOnt) Working Group in the Semantic Web Activity.

Discussion of this technology is encouraged on the www-rdf-logic mailing list (public archive).

Disclaimer: Placing a Submission on a Working Group/Interest Group agenda does not imply endorsement by either the W3C Staff or the participants of the Working Group/Interest Group, nor does it guarantee that the Working Group/Interest Group will agree to take any specific action on a Submission.

Dan Connolly, Team Contact
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