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Subject: ODF uses patented Zip features?

Dear all,

ODF references a "Zip" specification maintained by PKWARE Inc. (APPNOTE Version 6.2.0, available at http://www.pkware.com/support/application-note-archives, 2004).

PKWare's variant of Zip is a fork of the original public domain Zip specification and has been modified over the years to include several proprietary PKWare extensions.

[Historical note: ODF 1.0 (ISO/IEC 26300) referenced an Info-Zip  - *not* PKWare - variant of Zip which *does* align with the public-domain Zip specification and is generally regarded to be patent-unencumbered, in my understanding.]

The variant of Zip described by PKWare's note, and referenced by ODF 1.2, appears to contain a number of patented and patent-pending technologies. Technologies affected within the appnote concern, at least, Zip-level encryption of entries and support for large (> 2GB) entries.

Note that ISO/IEC 29500 (OOXML) references the same PKWare ZIP note, but makes considerable efforts (in Annex C of Part 2) to derrogate from the patented parts of that Zip variant's technology. (Not entirely successfully IMHO, but that's another story).

For ODF please either:

(a) Reference or develop a of Zip specification which is patent-unencumbered, or

(b) Re-develop the ODF spec to avoid the patented technologies, or

(c) Obtain a statement from the patent holders that these technologies are available on a free-of-charge & RAND basis.

- Alex.

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