W3C: Apple’s refusal to license patent royalty-free threatens Widgets specification

“Apple is currently blocking the adoption of a new web standard, a World Wide Web Consortium workgroup notes. The W3C is in the process of developing a standard for web widgets — code embeddable throughout multiple websites. Apple has a patent covering automatic software updates however, and suggests that the widget standard may violate it. If so, Apple is refusing to license the patent royalty-free,” MacNN reports.

Full article here.

Haavard blogs for MyOpera, “So as a response to this situation the W3C has put together a Patent Advisory Group, meaning that several companies are forced to spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out if Apple’s patent claim actually applies, and if it does, what to do about it.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s patent #5,764,992, “Method and apparatus for automatic software replacement (filed: June 6, 1995; granted: June 9, 1998),” states: A software program running on a computer automatically replaces itself with a newer version in a completely automated fashion, without interruption of its primary function, and in a manner that is completely transparent to the user of the computer. This is achieved by means of a logic module that is incorporated into programs. The logic module performs the functions of locating and identifying other versions of its associated program, determining whether the other versions are older or newer than the currently running version, and replacing older versions of itself with a newer version. As part of this operation, the logic module can copy the newer version to its current location, move the older version to a secondary location, and remove older versions of itself that have been replaced by a newer version. The new version that is to replace an older version can reside on an individual computer, or can be present on a server to which a number of computers are connected via a network. With this arrangement, software upgrades can be effected in an efficient and automatic manner, without resort to any external resources.

More here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple has a patent which, by definition, is possession of the sole right to make, use, or sell an invention, then they have every right under the law to license it or not, for a fee or not. If Apple owns the IP, Apple owns the IP. Apple Inc. isn’t a charity organzation, folks.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Adam W.” for the heads up.]

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