Web consortium at odds with Apple over widget patents

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The World Wide Web Consortium has issued a public call for prior art on Apple patents related to widgets that the company has refused to submit to a license-free standard.



Because the W3C requires its standards to be "royalty-free," it has hit a road block in its efforts to create a Widget Access Request Policy specification for web apps, as noted by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. Apple is asserting two patents that it believes apply to the specification, choosing not to submit them to the group under a royalty-free licensing policy.



Though Apple is a member of the W3C, which is made up of hundreds of major technology companies, it still maintains the right to choose whether its intellectual property is included in a standard. The impasse began in 2009 when Apple first opposed the Widgets standard with a patent for automatic software updates.



With the Cupertino, Calif., company unwilling to budge, the W3C turned to its members for help on Friday by putting a call out for prior art that could invalidate the patents. The group referenced patent application 11/432,295, which describes a widget security system.



In particular, the W3C is looking for "information about access control systems available before October 2005 and content distribution systems before April 2006 that offer a viable solution to the use of access requests policy in Widgets."



"The W3C hopes to do away with Apple's relevant patent and patent application," Mueller wrote. "It's an unpleasant situation for the W3C to have to confront one of its members, especially such a large and powerful one, but sometimes this can't be avoided."



Apple's actions have mystified fellow members of the W3C. "This basically means a lot of additional work for the Working Group at the W3C, and might slow down the process of finalizing the widgets specification," browser developer Opera wrote in 2009. "What are they up to exactly?"



Given the fact that Apple is engaged in numerous lawsuits with competitors, the company may be reluctant to give up patents it believes could provide leverage or defense.



Members of the consortium are also in disagreement over Google's proposal of the WebM video standard for acceptance as a W3C standard. Apple and others oppose the move and take issue with the search giant's claim.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    apple will do what needs to be done . the real hot widgets will stay with apple and the all the others will go back into the large pile of widgets that any member can use .





    i may be wrong here ..



    9
  • Reply 2 of 40
    It is just a method for automated updates. Just go ahead with a manual one if they can't find any predecessors to Apple patents.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    robbydekrobbydek Posts: 35member
    It's treading thin ground, after all look at what is supposedly happening to Samsung and look at what happened to Google when they crossed Apple.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Now, with "first to file" these issues will all go away. Prior art will be meaningless.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    The W3C was floundering with XHTML2.0 and it's endless derivative standards driving everyone off a cliff [Does one need like 50 different XML specs for the crap they kept pushing out and forcing on the community?] and had no interest in HTML 5 until it became clear they would become marginalized.



    Suddenly, they want to throw their brand behind it, but to act as if they have any leverage they are pushing this widget issue.



    Get over it, W3C.



    Without the big corporations writing the Browsers the W3C would have long ago ceased to exist.
  • Reply 6 of 40
    And that's why we can't have nice things...
  • Reply 7 of 40
    bongobongo Posts: 158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    The W3C was floundering with XHTML2.0 and it's endless derivative standards driving everyone off a cliff [Does one need like 50 different XML specs for the crap they kept pushing out and forcing on the community?] and had no interest in HTML 5 until it became clear they would become marginalized.



    Suddenly, they want to throw their brand behind it, but to act as if they have any leverage they are pushing this widget issue.



    Get over it, W3C.



    Without the big corporations writing the Browsers the W3C would have long ago ceased to exist.



    Like Netscape maybe..Oh wait it was destriyed by a small charity group called Micro-Sowft.

    Btw, what kernel does MacOS use?

    Oh yeah ,I forgot it runs on "magic"
  • Reply 8 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bongo View Post


    Like Netscape maybe..Oh wait it was destriyed by a small charity group called Micro-Sowft.

    Btw, what kernel does MacOS use?

    Oh yeah ,I forgot it runs on "magic"



    Last I checked Netscape, Microsoft, Apple et all were reasonably big companies. :P



    Also, XNU. But, how's that relevant at all?
  • Reply 9 of 40
    bongobongo Posts: 158member
    Because W3C decides the standard that's why.

    Also, without W3C enforcing html5 people on Mac would be stuck with blank screens without flash.

    Apple cannot bake the cake and eat it too.

    Btw, nice that my comment let u join AI.Le's just hpe you are not an established member trolling out here
  • Reply 10 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bongo View Post


    Because W3C decides the standard that's why.

    Also, without W3C enforcing html5 people on Mac would be stuck with blank screens without flash.

    Apple cannot bake the cake and eat it too.

    Btw, nice that my comment let u join AI.Le's just hpe you are not an established member trolling out here



    Honestly, most of why they do is ratify the implementations, not make them from scratch (usually). Also, I am actually new, but I still don't understand how kernels are at all related to W3C. Also, they only manage web standards (as the name implies).
  • Reply 11 of 40
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bongo View Post


    Because W3C decides the standard that's why.

    Also, without W3C enforcing html5 people on Mac would be stuck with blank screens without flash.

    Apple cannot bake the cake and eat it too.

    Btw, nice that my comment let u join AI.Le's just hpe you are not an established member trolling out here



    Flash works on my Mac, if I want to see crappy ads and pointless eyecandy I just relax my blocking software.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    There seems to be a whole lot of talk about consortiums lately. First, there were all those consortiums involved in the Nortel patent auction and now we have a web consortium which is going after Apple's widgets.



    I happened to walk by a consortium late last night. There were these three hookers standing together, talking on a corner, and you can bet that if a younger, newer, more attractive prostitute were to encroach upon their turf, then the consortium of the three whores would have driven the newcomer out of their block.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    Universal translation: Apple wants to see how much cash they can wring out of this before they decide to be part of the gang. Typical Apple move.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    caliminiuscaliminius Posts: 944member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    The W3C was floundering with XHTML2.0 and it's endless derivative standards driving everyone off a cliff [Does one need like 50 different XML specs for the crap they kept pushing out and forcing on the community?] and had no interest in HTML 5 until it became clear they would become marginalized.



    Suddenly, they want to throw their brand behind it, but to act as if they have any leverage they are pushing this widget issue.



    Get over it, W3C.



    Without the big corporations writing the Browsers the W3C would have long ago ceased to exist.



    What "brand" does the W3C have? The brand that says if you code to certain standards you can expect your website to function correctly in any modern browser? Yes, that's certainly a crappy brand concept to be pushing. Let's just go back to having IE-specific web extensions and Netscape specific crap, and now we can throw in some Firefox, Chrome and Safari-only tags and attributes just to keep it interesting. Web developers can try to code to 4 different browsers or (more likely) say screw it for 3 of them and code for only one of them.



    Without standards the Web would be a fractured, steaming pile of crap. Or would you prefer to go back to a time when websites looked radically different depending on what browser you were using? Do you want to go back to a bunch of sites that only run under Internet Explorer (especially since there is no Mac version of IE)?



    God, how I absolutely loathe the idiotic fanboy double standard. People here whine about Microsoft or Google doing their best to delay adoption of HTML5 standards then defend Apple when they do the same thing. Make up your minds. If it's bad for Google, Microsoft, [insert Apple competitor here] to do something, it's bad for Apple to do the same thing.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post


    Universal translation: Apple wants to see how much cash they can wring out of this before they decide to be part of the gang. Typical Apple move.



    I don't follow. What "gang" does Apple want to be part of, and why?



    Also, would you rather that they did business the other way around?
  • Reply 16 of 40
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robbydek View Post


    It's treading thin ground, after all look at what is supposedly happening to Samsung and look at what happened to Google when they crossed Apple.



    The difference here is that this won't possibly happen for any reason ever.



    You don't screw with the W3C. Just like you don't screw with the IEEE or any of the other bodies that set the standards inside your computer.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    gari22gari22 Posts: 10member
    Apple is holding these patents close to their chest because they don't want to damage their case in an ongoing lawsuit with some other company.



    Apple has a vested interest in HTML5 and wants an open web. But if they think this will hurt them financially they will do whatever necessary to halt it. They may succeed; they may fail. Either way I doubt anyone will care much about this before long.



    Also, to anyone bashing the W3C: Read up before posting, the web consortium is pushing an open web for some very sensible reasons. The only reason HTML was successful in the first place was that it was free. There were other systems available but they were proprietary and locked into particular ISPs. Keeping HTML free is the way to prevent it sinking back into the proprietary mess it was in when IE was the ?only? browser.



    And none of us want that, do we?
  • Reply 18 of 40
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Patents impede progress but reward innovation. It is a double edged sword.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,971member
    Could someone please explain what the widgets on Mac Dashboard have to do with the World Wide Web? I realize some widgets access the internet for data, but the widget itself resides on my Mac within the proprietary Apple OS. So why do these guys care about my Mac's OS? I could see where they would if this was a Chrome laptop which lives on the web, by why my Mac? Apple is not selling or distributing these widgets outside their own ecosystem, so what's the deal?



    The article's author could have done a better job of explaining the "why" of this as opposed to the "what."
  • Reply 20 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Could someone please explain ....



    The article's author could have done a better job of explaining the "why" of this as opposed to the "what."



    Good luck finding it here, or anywhere on the inter-web for that matter nowadays. It is all about being first and subsequently, click counts.



    To give him some slack though, this is not an in depth article or a soecial feature but yeah...
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