United States Patent 6,457,066 was issued on September 24, 2002. It says that Microsoft Corporation now owns the Simple object access protocol (SOAP).
Dave Winer, in his Scripting News, sounds somewhat surprised about this, and says that that is not the SOAP we use today. “[H]ad Microsoft wanted to patent XML-based SOAP they would have needed to get me on board, and I never gave permission to do that.”
I’m no expert on patents, and I am not sure what conclusions to draw from this patent, but as I see it, a patent is a patent. SOAP is owned by Microsoft. End of story. Base you policy making on this. If you want to promote open standards, don’t promote SOAP, because that is not an open standard.