July 12, 2011

W3 Consortium to Invalidate Apple's HTML5 Patents

To ensure that HTML5 stack can be used royalty free, the world wide web consortium (W3C) is seeking to invalidate a pair of Apple (News - Alert) patents, according to Because the W3C consortium maintains a strict policy of validating Web standards that can be used without paying for royalties, the W3C’s (News - Alert) call for prior art is necessary, the W3C officials said, wrote

In fact, wrote IDG News service reporter Joab Jackson, the W3C consortium can render those patents invalid by finding examples of the technology in use before Apple filed the patents.

As reported by Jackson, the patented technologies are core components to W3C’s Widget Access Request Policy, which specifies how mobile applications can request sensitive material. According to Jackson, it is one out of numerous other specifications that are closely linked to the consortium’s next generation standard for Web pages and applications, the HTML5.

While W3C consortium seeks information about access control systems available before October 2005 and content distribution systems before April 2006 that offer a viable solution that may apply to the use of access requests policy in Widgets, Apple has submitted application requests to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, describing technologies that the W3C working group has folded into its specification. Patents involved include pending patent 20070101146, which covers access control procedures, and approved patent 7,743,336, which covers widget security.

As a member of the W3C consortium, Apple should provide a royalty free license for technologies essential to the standards being developed, observers have noted, wrote PCWorld. However, so far the company has not responded, as per the report.

In a blog post, wrote IP activist Florian Mueller, “In this case, the W3C hopes to do away with Apple’s relevant patent and patent application. It’s an unpleasant situation for the W3C to have to confront one of its members, especially such a large and powerful one, but sometimes this can’t be avoided.”

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Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell


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