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Do Web standards and patents mix?

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1 Author(s)

Since the Internet's early days, engineers and researchers have built the "network of networks" largely with open standards, which many argue has let the technology become as popular as it is today. However, that popularity may also discourage companies that develop promising new Internet technologies from making them available for use in open standards in the future. The Web offers many potential opportunities for innovative technology companies to make money in areas such as telecommunications, consumer electronics, streaming media, and e-commerce. Therefore, a growing number of companies are receiving and enforcing patents for their potentially lucrative technologies. Meanwhile, as standards organizations work on various Web technologies, they frequently can't avoid turning to patented approaches. Now, a debate has erupted between those who say the Internet should be built of freely available, standardized technology components and those who argue that useful technology development should be fairly compensated via royalties or licensing fees.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 10 )