Apple is having a scrap with the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) over a patent from 1995 for running automatic software updates over the internet.
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In a statement on its website, Apple said, "Apple believes that W3C should promulgate only royalty-free standards, but should permit individual members to identify and exclude specific patents that they are not willing to license on a royalty-free basis. To accomplish this, a W3C member would be required to disclose and license to any practitioner all essential patents of a W3C standard."
In response, the W3C has launched an appeal to find information about software update systems available before June 1995 that offer a viable solution that may apply to the use of updates in widgets. "Such information could suggest ways to define a specification that can achieve the working group's goals without implementers infringing on the disclosed patent," the W3C said.