[Mono-list] what the ecma says about patents

Guenther Roith groith@tcrz.net
Fri, 15 Mar 2002 17:15:55 +0100

I've asked the ecma what they know about patents on .net if projects like
mono or portable.net implement the ecma parts. This might be interest ing
for you.

This is the answer:

Dear Mr. Roith,
All I can speak to with certainty is the matter of ECMA's intellectual
property rules.  By working actively on the ECMA standard, and also
explicitly by a letter to the organization, Microsoft has agreed that it
will license any of its necessary patents on a reasonable and
non-discriminatory basis.

Beyond that, and getting into somewhat more speculative territory,
Microsoft made a statement to ECMA in the fall of 2001 that it would also
provide royalty-free licenses for any and all essential patents, so long as
the other party would reciprocate with similar terms for any of its
essential patents.  However, that statement caused some confusion with some
members who were not accustomed to dealing with its "non-standard" (within
the ECMA context) terms, so that statement was not relied upon by ECMA
members in adopting the standard.  So there is probably nothing legally
binding about that statement.  I have no reason to believe, however, that
Microsoft has changed its mind about its plan of that time to offer
royalty-free licenses on essential patents with respect to any products
implementing the ECMA standard.

I hope that this information is still somewhat helpful.
Best regards.

 Jan van den Beld

Jan W. van den Beld --- ECMA Secretary General
Email: jan@ecma.ch      URL:   <http://www.ecma.ch/>
Phone/Fax: +41 22 849 6012 / 6001 --- Cell phone: +41 79 203 5256
114, Rue du Rhône --- CH-1204 GENEVA --- Switzerland
ECMA - An International Industry Association for the
standardization of information and communication systems