Will a Sun patent burn XPointer?
19:37, 9 Jan 2001 UTC | Simon St.Laurent

Since Elliotte Rusty Harold recommended "complete rejection of this specification until such time as Sun's patent can be dealt with more reasonably," the XML-dev mailing list has been discussing the licensing terms for the patent.

Daniel Veillard, who chaired XPointer meetings on the subject, noted that "We can't chase them all and if we did we would make no progress every effort would be wasted doing those Patent lookups and fighting them :-(((," though he clearly had little sympathy for the patent itself.

Tim Bray described the situation as "a big problem," suggesting that:

"The responsible thing for Sun to do would be to issue an official declaration that the patent has no standing in respect of XPointer, and that to the extent that it does, Sun grants an unrestricted, free, license to anyone to implement and use it without incurring any obligations of any kind on account of the patent. Were they to do this, they'd deserve our praise."

Otherwise, he was concerned that it might be "XPointer, D.O.A."

Len Bullard cited prior art from Unisys and the US Army Missile Command, and noted that "The US Army might prove to be a tough problem for Sun lawyers. Civil servants are relentless customers."

Eve Maler, an editor of the XPointer spec who works for Sun, noted that:

"this situation existed long before I joined Sun or became a co-chair. For the record, I "recused" myself and let Daniel take on sole chairmanship duties whenever the Working Group discussed this matter"

Ben Trafford, developing "an open source XLink/XPointer-inclusive product," suggested that "their patent in this regard is unsupportable, at about the same level as Microsoft's much-reviled patent on the concept of stylesheets."

Trafford encouraged list members to "to send mail to Sun's legal department via the links Eve has so thoughtfully provided," and concluded that "I think Sun will get the message -- and if not, they can sue me, and a whole bunch of other folks. I rather expect they'd lose."

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Re: Will a Sun patent burn XPointer? (Nick Barron - 12:04, 11 Jan 2001)
Call me an old cynic, but this sounds somewhat like HyQ's "Match()" which was around in 1994...
Don't blame Sun, blame the USPTO (Anonymous Coward - 20:03, 10 Jan 2001)
Sun, like every other big company has to try to patent everything they do for their own protection. ...
Re: Will a Sun patent burn XPointer? (Rick Jelliffe - 13:00, 10 Jan 2001)
I find it very fustrating to see simple uses of standards subverted in this way. When we make standa ...
Re: Will a Sun patent burn XPointer? (Simon St.Laurent - 23:41, 9 Jan 2001)
You may find Sun's patent to be HTML-specific, but they don't seem to feel that way. Yes, there are ...
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