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Monday, July 11, 2011
Apple Excludes Essential HTML5 Patents From W3C

Apple has excluded two patents related to royalty-free HTML5 standard pushing the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to seek for the invalidation of these patents.

Apple participates in the Web Application Working Group. In application of the "exclusion rights", Apple has excluded Patent Nr. 7,743,336 and Patent Application 20070101146 from its royalty-free commitment given upon joining the Web Applications Working Group, the W3C said.

As a member of the W3C, Apple should provide a royalty free license for technologies essential to the standards being developed.

Apple seems to refuse to make those rights available on the W3C's liberal terms. Simply put, Apple doesn't want to be restricted in any way and may want to assert those patents in its various lawsuits.

This means the W3C can't formally adopt the "infringing" specification because its rules require patent-free or at least royalty-free standards.

W3C's response was the release of a public call for prior art, as it maintains a strict policy of validating Web standards that can be used without paying for royalties. Apple's exclusion triggered a Patent Advisory Group (PAG). The PAG collects links and hints to technology that may help to circumvent a patent. By finding examples of the technology in use before Apple filed the patents, the W3C could render those patents invalid.

Apple has not commented on the story.

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