Adobe Adds Non-Assert

I just got home from a great day at JFokus in Sweden, so this is my first chance to pass longer comment on Adobe's excellent move to turn PDF into a ratified international standard like ODF. I first saw the news in Duane's blog and saw from there that they are sensibly using AIIM as the steward. This approach - waiting for the spec to stabilise before standardisation - is exactly the right thing to do and I understand the balance one needs to make between concern for the existing user base and desire to formalise the established standard. Stephen has one his Q & As on the news which is worth reading, especially for the implication of importance to the ongoing tussle between Microsoft and the rest of humanity over document formats.

When I saw the news, the first thing I went looking for was the details of how Adobe will handle all the patents associated with PDF, since it undoubtedly has a substantial portfolio. On Monday there was nothing at all about that in the announcement or the FAQ, so I asked on Duane's blog. Interestingly Stephen doesn't cover this important topic.

I just got a note from Duane with the very welcome news that Adobe has in fact decided to issue a Covenant not to sue surrounding its patent portfolio for PDF. They've added this fact to the end of the FAQ.This is excellent news since it frees the forthcoming ISO standard for implementation by Free and open source communities. Kudos to Adobe for taking this increasingly normal step with their standard, and to Duane for acting so fast to get it sorted.

Comments:

an accidental omission. after seeing your comment, i'd meant to include it, but it fell through the cracks. glad to see that you asked the question, and that Duane was diligent enough to get it sorted.

Posted by stephen o'grady on January 30, 2007 at 12:02 PM PST #

How does this relate to and/or affect the threat Adobe made some years ago, saying that if Microsoft implemented PDF export support in Microsoft Office, Adobe would sue them?

Posted by Asbjørn Ulsberg on January 30, 2007 at 09:15 PM PST #

@Asbjørn: I'd suggest you go ask on Duane's blog. The issue looked far more like an excuse on MSFT's part than anything else as I said at the time. I suspect Microsoft's choice was more about advantaging Metro than any real Adobe issue. Nonetheless, the freedom of the monopolist to implement is an interesting test of true openness.

Posted by Simon Phipps on January 30, 2007 at 09:24 PM PST #

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