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Saturday, August 01 2015 @ 03:19 PM CDT

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Patent Pools, No Action Letters and Open Source: Keeping Good Deeds Unpunished


Back on August 9, I wrote about the fact that a patent pool had been formed by some of the patent owners that believe that their intellectual property rights (IPR) would be infringed by the implementation of RFID technology. I was reminded of this entry when a reporter who was writing about the current status of that initiative called me up to explain how patent pools work. He's written what I think is a very clear update on this situation, called "The RFID Patent Pool: Playing Poker," which you can find here.

The blog entry in question was one of those that I write from time to time that seek to dig below the surface of what is generally perceived to be bad news in order to determine just how bad that news really is. In this particular case, I was pointing out that if the laudable efforts of those that had been working hard to create a royalty-free environment for RFID technology were going to fail, then the next best outcome could well be a patent pool.

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Is One Standard Always Better than Two?

OpenDocument and OOXMLIn an ideal world, the answer would be "yes." Around these parts, though, the answer depends on the type of standard, time and circumstances, and your views on economic theory.
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The MA XML/ODF Open Forum Meeting: Shh! Did You Hear That? Something Happened

OpenDocument and OOXMLThere was a lot of talking in the Massachusetts Senate Reading Room yesterday at the ODF/XML Open Format. And even some news
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Real Time Report: ODF/XML Open Forum at the Mass. State House

OpenDocument and OOXMLI'm currently at the Open Forum at the Mass. State House, and will report in real-time as the meeting proceeds
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Meanwhile, in a Parallel Universe...

WirelessThere's another standards war story that's been running in the news over the past few days that has an eerie sense of familiarity. It goes like this: Two camps can't agree on a standard that is being developed within an existing, well-respected standards body. Eventually one camp takes its effort to Ecma International for approval and fast tracking to an international standard in order to outflank the first standards organization, and to thwart the success of the other camp. Now where have I heard something like that before?
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Microsoft Posts XML Reference Schema FAQ (and Thumbs Nose at ODF and Sun)

OpenDocument and OOXMLMicrosoft has posted a Q&A that is mostly reassuring, and partly flagrant FUD
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Linda Hamel's Challenge to a Transfer of IT Power in Massachusetts

OpenDocument and OOXMLI've just read Massachusetts ITD General Counsel's challenge to the Senate amendment that would transfer control of the Commonwealth's IT structure to a political task force. The abiding question it raises is this: Why would any sane person want to do this?
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Quinn Cleared in Travel Investigation (But Will the Globe be Cleared?)

OpenDocument and OOXMLIt's no surprise that Peter Quinn has been cleared in the investigation over his travel records. But the story won't be over until the Globe tells its readers why it took it upon itself to instigate this fruitless investigation to begin with.
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Ecma Does What it is Told to Do

OpenDocument and OOXMLEverything is going as planned (by Microsoft)in Ecma, as the XML Reference Schema Working Group is approved, with only one vote against, and one abstention.
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ODF/XML Notes and Reports from All Over (Installment V)

OpenDocument and OOXMLThe action continues thick and fast, including a letter of protest from the Computer and Communications Industry Association to Ecma.