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[DotGNU]Re: microsoft patents

From: David Sugar
Subject: [DotGNU]Re: microsoft patents
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 09:48:15 -0500
User-agent: KMail/1.4.3

RAND is actually descriminatory to a certain level.  What happens with RAND  
("Reasonable" and Non-Descriminitory) is simply that the vendor using RAND 
cannot selectivily refuse to license to other members, vendors, entities, 
etc.  Hence, Microsoft could not selectivily choose not to license it's 
patents involved in the EMCA body to Sun, for example, but it could still 
certainly charge Sun so long as it charged others on the same basis and what 
it charged was considered "reasonable".  Reasonable, however, is not in terms 
of what may reasonable for the all party parties which may be effected by 
such a patent.  It is I believe judged from average or common practice.  
Hence, while charging anything may not be reasonable to a free software 
author specifically, it may be construed as reasonable in that broader 
context precisely to do this even though the effect is actually 

This is precisely why we fought so hard to have Royalty Free rather than RAND 
as a requirement for participation in W3C standards.

On Wednesday 12 February 2003 02:05, Rhys Weatherley wrote:
> Here is some information from the head of the ECMA working group
> responsible for the C# and CLI specifications on the patent issue.  I am
> following up with him to determine exactly what "RAND" means in this
> context.
> Cheers,
> Rhys.
> ----------  Forwarded Message  ----------
> Subject: RE: Microsoft Patent
> Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 22:22:53 -0800
> From: "Marcey, Joel I" <address@hidden>
> To: "Rhys Weatherley" <address@hidden>
> Cc: "Smith, Scott D" <address@hidden>, "van den Beld Jan"
> <address@hidden>, "Andrew Clinick" <address@hidden>
> Hello Rhys,
> The way I understand it, and I am by know means a lawyer, is that you
> can implement the strict ECMA standard, as it is currently specified,
> without having to worry about royalties. In other words, Microsoft and
> the rest of the member companies have agreed, via ECMA policy, that
> anything submitted for use in ECMA standardization is available under
> RAND licensing terms (as long as you are willing to provide the same
> terms with anything you provide).
> However, the entire .NET Framework is not covered by this agreement;
> only that of which Microsoft submitted to be standardized.
> So to answer your question, the assurance is that if you implement the
> strict ECMA standard, you are OK. But if you go beyond that, you are
> outside the scope of ECMA.
> I have copied Jan van den Beld, ECMA Secretary General, on this to
> provide more information on this if necessary. Also read the official
> ECMA patent policy here:
> Thanks,
> - Joel Marcey
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rhys Weatherley [mailto:address@hidden
> Sent: Monday, February 10, 2003 11:40 PM
> To: Marcey, Joel I
> Subject: Microsoft Patent
> Hi Joel,
> No doubt you've seen the story on CNet regarding Microsoft applying for
> a
> patent on the entire .NET Framework, API's, runtime engine, and all (the
> URL's for the story and patent application are below).
> Obviously, this is of concern to the Portable.NET developers, as our
> project
> is released under the GNU General Public License, and royalty fees are
> therefore out of the question.
> Has Microsoft given an assurance to the ECMA that anyone can implement
> the
> specification on a royalty-free basis?  If they have, how much does it
> cover?
> Just the ECMA subset, or the rest of the .NET Framework classes?
> Cheers,
> Rhys.
> 1&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1='20030028685'.PGNR.&O
> S=DN/20030028685&RS=DN/20030028685
> -------------------------------------------------------
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