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W3C Chastises Apple On HTML5 Patenting 126

angry tapir writes "The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is seeking to invalidate a pair of Apple patents so the underlying technologies can be used as part of a royalty-free HTML5 stack. The patented technologies are core components to the W3C's Widget Access Request Policy, which specifies how mobile applications can request sensitive material. It is one of a number of specifications that are closely tied to the W3C's next generation standard for Web pages and applications, HTML5."
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W3C Chastises Apple On HTML5 Patenting

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  • by MetalliQaZ ( 539913 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @10:39AM (#36748498) a Borgified Steve Jobs.

  • Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @10:40AM (#36748502)
    About time one of the bodies stood up to a member trying to turn it into a money tap. Should have started with rambus.
  • Re:Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @10:46AM (#36748572) Homepage

    About time one of the bodies stood up to a member trying to turn it into a money tap. Should have started with rambus.

    Agreed, I think part of actually sitting on these committees and the like should be a "no submarine patent" clause, and a rule that says that since this stuff is meant to be open, it it inherently something which can't be patented.

    Sitting in on the development of a standard and then patenting those components is dirty pool. Same, likewise, is the old MS trick of helping to develop the spec and then releasing something which is 'mostly' like the spec so you can have it be proprietary.

    Sadly, in an age where patents are used to fight your competitors, actual open standards don't seem to be something companies are interested in fostering.

  • After so long... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by lordSaurontheGreat ( 898628 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @10:47AM (#36748590) Homepage

    After sitting with their hands under their butts for soo long, W3C doesn't really deserve much of anything.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @11:06AM (#36748758) Homepage

    The Borgification was selected because of Microsoft's "embrace and extend" manner. The Borg start out with natural humanoids and then implant things into them. Apple does not do this exactly. Apple just seeks to limit and control everything it touches. So if anything I would rather see a "King-Midas-ification" for Apple as everything they make is high priced, highly sought after and ultimately very limited in how it can be used.

  • by backslashdot ( 95548 ) * on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @12:28PM (#36750176)

    So Apple is just protecting itself from seeing the HTML spec and patenting it themselves.

    There is a new law in the pipeline that will allow patents to be granted to companies even if someone else came up with the idea first. They have to sign something saying they independently developed the idea without seeing the prior work. That means the patent system is changing from First to Invent to "First Inventor to File" .. to make that law sound constitutional, they have redefined inventor to mean anyone who comes up with something independently. Obviously such a law is heavily in favor of companies with money. So, for example if you invent something .. but don't file a patent for it.. even if you describe your invention in detail on the internet .. a company can file a patent afterwards on the exact same invention as long as there is "reasonable grounds" to believe that the company didn't see your posting on the internet. Note, this obviously won't work both ways because 1) companies alway file patents immediately 2) with their top lawyers companies can prove their invention was well known. It will also allow companies to file patents on things written in books that weren't already patented. It's all to make life easier for the patent examiner .. no more bothering with checking prior art or googling a patent filing to see if someone else had the idea first .. now they just check the patent database then do a quick Lexis search of printed published media issue the patent! No more googling -- which is where a lot of new ideas exist.

    The law is going to be a dream law for patent trolls.

    Just google First Inventor to File for more on this topic. It's probably too late to do anything about it though.

    If the new law was in place in 2006 .. Apple could have patented the idea of making a touchscreen smartphone with a screen larger than 2.5" inches. The reason Apple couldn't patent it was because the idea of large touchscreen phones were posted on the internet and in gadget blogs (including slashdot) by people who wanted them well before Apple served their need. But if this new law was in place, all Apple would have had to do is to claim they never saw the postings and file a patent on it.

    To "streamline" the patent granting process, Congress has redefined "inventor" to mean any person who independently comes up with an invention. So a person can claim they independently came up with an invention .. therefore under the law someone who tries to patent an idea that's in the HTML spec is eligible for a patent because the law states that any "inventor" (as redefined) who is first to file is able to patent it. This makes it easier and cheaper for them to grant patents without having to do time consuming and costly prior art searches.

    The law is called the America Invents Act and it has already passed Senate and House and is in reconciliation. Google it.

  • Re:Gobshyte much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday July 13, 2011 @03:06PM (#36752726) Journal

    Open as in "Apple controls it". That's been Apple's M.O. for the better part of three decades.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972