Yesterday, and also earlier, I have posted about SOAP and the intellectual property issues around it. This issue is still open: Patent claims a problem for next web services standard. It turns out that Microsofts SOAP-patent is not the issue. There are appearently two other patents out there, belonging to WebMethods and Epicentric (Vignette) related to Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) version 1.2. CNet reports (Firm changes mind on SOAP patent) that Epicentric is now amending their statement via W3C to be royalty free.
Even with this, and even if WebMethods does the same, where do we stand? Someone told me that Tim Berners-Lee recently listed some 30 standards with IPR-issues on W3C’s table.
I wouldn’t be surprised if IBM have some patents in this area too – they are by far the leader in terms of getting patents.
I just found patent 6,471,068, belonging to IBM, that may, or may not, be related to the security issue. But today, in the Register, we can read that IBM will disarm royalties over technologies it owns that are used in Web services standards, but only if other vendors with similar claims on technologies follow suit.
Yesterday, we saw a new OASIS Open Standard coming out: SAML, Security Assertion Markup Language, an XML-based security standard for exchanging authentication and authorization information. There are IPR-issues involved with this too, BTW.
IPR-issues are everywhere. A patent is part of the reason why I cannot have www.gøtze.dk as my domain name. Walid, Inc. owns a patent (awarded January 2001, US Patent No. 6.182.148) on multilingual Internet domain names, which apprearently is causing problems for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), who would have been able to allow a more truly multilingual web to emerge. Now, thanks to Dr Walid’s patent, it may take another 18 years, before I can register gøtze.dk.