Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

Apparently (and thankfully) swayed by the W3C‘s impassioned appeal, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has agreed to reexamine the validity of the Eolas patent:

“A substantial outcry from a widespread segment of the affected industry has essentially raised a question of patentability with respect to the 906 patent claims,” Stephen Kunin, the USPTO‘s deputy commissioner for patent examination policy, wrote in his order for re-examination. “This creates an extraordinary situation for which a director-ordered examination is an appropriate remedy.”

While the USPTO has indeed made a promising move, it is only the first in the involved patent reexamination process. Given the sweeping changes the Eolas patent could inflict upon the Web as we know it, we can only hope that the end result is the right one for web standards.

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