[Mono-list] Web Services and patents

Jonathan Pryor jonpryor at vt.edu
Wed Jun 1 07:36:54 EDT 2005

On Wed, 2005-06-01 at 02:25 +0200, Pedro Santos Gómez wrote:
> Once said that, in the following map:
> http://www.mono-project.com/Image:Monocomponentsmap.png
> I see that "Soap Web Clients" and "Soap Web Servers"
> have same colour as ADO.NET (which is not the cyan
> colour - called "Patent free", neither the green
> colour - part of the Mono stack).
> But, what I'm wondering is basically that, in the same
> way I might use GDA instead of ADO.NET, or GTK#
> instead of Windows Forms, there is any component
> "safer" ... than the Web Services from ASP.NET.
> And, if there is no one, what is the worst case that
> could happen?

I know of no equivalent to System.Web.* for SOAP services.

I also wouldn't worry about it, at least for SOAP services, as SOAP is a
W3C recommendation, and W3C doesn't accept recommendations that have
RAND patent licenses (or any other patent license except "free for all
implementations of the recommendation", though Microsoft & co. have
tried to change the W3C requirements...).

Anything NOT part of SOAP or covered by a W3C recommendation may be
suspect, though, such as the object <=> XML mapping patent that Dan
Maltes mentioned.

As for the worst that can happen...  You couldn't be able to use
System.Web.* anymore, and would have to listen to port 80 directly, grab
the XML, throw it into System.Xml.* (part of ECMA), and parse it
manually.  This would be annoying, but not terribly difficult, and this
would be an unlikely requirement (again, because SOAP/XSD/etc. are W3C

(Now, playing devils advocate, if Microsoft could get a patent on an
API, then System.Web.* could be covered, and a different API would need
to be written.  However, considering that people have tried
copyrighting/patenting GUI menu systems and the USSC didn't buy the
argument, I don't think this will actually be an issue.  Compatibility
is too strong a reason to discount...)

 - Jon

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