Widget updates are OK

In a detailed response to Apple’s decision to exclude one of its patents from the Widgets Update specification, the W3C has said via a Patent Advisory Group that implementations of the Widgets Update specification would not necessarily infringe Apple’s patent. This opinion is based on the observation that the patent requires the update to be self-contained, whereas the Widgets Update specification assumes the update to be facilitated by an external “update manager”, and that the Widgets are necessarily contained within a host browser.

While this conclusion does not invalidate Apple’s patent, it does remove a barrier to the Widgets Update specification, which had been stalled at the draft stage.

Interestingly, a side-effect of the work of the PAG was the contribution of many instances of Prior Art that may be sufficient to deem the Apple patent invalid. The W3C did not follow through on this possibility, but it should comfort some who were concerned about getting into an IPR battle with the technology giant.

So far there has been no response from Apple.

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