Related link: http://xmlhack.com/read.php?item=1558
The W3C may not have entirely ruled out RAND in their latest Patent Policy draft, but they certainly make it clear that they’re not very interested in dealing with it.
It isn’t clear, however, that RAND is dead, however much most of the writers (myself included) of comments would like to see that happen. An exception-handling mechanism deals with cases where “a patent has been disclosed that may be essential, but is not available on RF terms.”
That exception-handling mechanism may determine how the policy functions in practice. If there are lots of exceptions, or unclear grounds for what qualifies as an exception, the foundation policy may not be as important.
(For more details and background, visit the xmlhack story.)
RAND is now at least relegated to exceptional status. Is this a victory over patents?