updated 05:15 pm EDT, Tue April 7, 2009
Apple threatens W3C
Apple is currently blocking the adoption of a new web standard, a World Wide Web Consortium workgroup notes. The W3C is in the process of developing a standard for web widgets -- code embeddable throughout multiple websites. Apple has a patent covering automatic software updates however, and suggests that the widget standard may violate it. If so, Apple is refusing to license the patent royalty-free.
The W3C has taken the step of forming a Patent Advisory Group, which is analyzing the proposed widget standard to gauge the validity of Apple's claims. Should a problem be found, the standard may have to be amended or dropped entirely, which could interfere with the spread of Web 2.0 and 3.0 concepts. Apple uses an assortment of natively-coded widgets, split between Mac OS X, the iPhone and the iPod touch.