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Subject: RE: [chairs] Is "Defensive RF" the answer to the OASIS IPR impasse?

	Actually, with regards to SAML, I believe there are two caveats
to your comments:
a) it's the old IPR rules, so things are a bit messier than the new IPR
rules and 

b) Fidelity has committed to a RANDZ license - but requires licensees to
*individually* negotiate such licenses with them.  

	The real issue, as I see it, is item b) - that many people using
SAML probably do not realize that they must execute such a license with
Fidelity because Fidelity has not presented a unilateral (e.g.
click-through) license or a covenant not to sue (as have several other
parties). I do believe that Fidelity is not trying to make things
difficult - I'm guessing they would happily do whatever was best for
SAML but are not aware that this is really an issue or haven't been able
to come up with something like the convenant not to sue or a unilateral
license for internal policy reasons. 

	My point is that OASIS has influence here and can help to shape
licensing practice w/r/t OASIS specs that have potential patent
encumberances. For many implementers, these licensing details are "below
the radar". For organizations that are more sensitive to IPR issues (and
may have past experience being on the wrong end of patent litigation,
because of unclear or sloppy IPR license management or for other
reasons), these details are extremely important. 

	I realize that many people may find these issues to be
"nitpicking" - and actually I think that's a compliment to the new OASIS
IPR rules that we actually are getting down to the "mechanics" of the
licensing process rather than huge substantive issues. But they are
important and I think OASIS can do the world some benefit by taking
leadership here and nudging patent holders to a more uniform and
complete licensing process... 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: David RR Webber (XML) [mailto:david@drrw.info] 
> Sent: Monday, May 08, 2006 7:58 AM
> To: Chairs OASIS
> Cc: oasis-member-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org; 
> oasis-board-comment@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: [chairs] Is "Defensive RF" the answer to the OASIS 
> IPR impasse?
> Following on from the past weeks discussion and notes around the
> experience of the use of SAML.  It seems clear that large user
> corporations and governments have an aversion to any standard that has
> licensing requirement from individual companies that they must action.
> This clearly limits any OASIS standard adoption where there 
> are specific
> licensing needed.
> Whereas the current OASIS IPR choices really do not make this 
> clear - in
> fact the opposite - the door appears to be open where future 
> impediments
> may be added at an unknown time by participating contributors.
> We heard again the argument that - "why work on a standard if then it
> has to be scrapped because of some IPR that later arises?"
> Conversely one could say that in the case of things like SAML 
> where any
> non-RF licensing will effectively scrap the use anyway - then we have
> to be pragmatic and say we need an IPR policy where adopters know that
> - contributors to the OASIS work do so solely on the basis of RF only
> and that is enshrined in the charter and modus operandi of the TC that
> their participation is on that basis alone.
> Hence - the TC would only accept work on the basis of RF, and beyond
> that if IPR issues arise those will either require an RF agreement, or
> the TC work will be changed to avoid that IPR and not include it.
> Having that level of clear statement in the IPR-mode options 
> is what we
> appear to be missing today - as evidenced by the experience with SAML.
> Cordially, DW

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