OASIS Symposium

I’m attending the OASIS Symposium this week in New Orleans.
Yesterday, I took part in a presentation and panel discussion on Web services transactions. I presented on WS-CAF, which is also holding a face to face meeting tomorrow and Thursday here (more on that later).
We had a good, spirited discussion about the differences and similarities across WS-CAF, BTP, and the WS-TX set of specifications from Microsoft, IBM, and BEA. We also heard one of the common themes that’s been expressed throughout the symposium – why do we have to have competing specifications?
This question came up again during a similar presentation and panel discussion on reliable messaging, and came up in a discussion on RosettaNet, ebXML, CIDX, and AIAG.
William Stangel, Senior VP and Enterprise Architect at Fidelity Investment Systems said during his keynote yesterday that HTTP and HTML were standards that really changed how Fidelity does business. Web services standards have yet to make a similar impact, he said.
Does anyone else find it interesting that one of the reasons cited for awarding Tim Berners-Lee the Millenium Prize (1M Euros) is that he did not patent his inventions (URL, HTTP, HTML)?
“Pekka Tarjanne, chairman of the prize committee, underlined the importance of Berners-Lee’s decision to never strive to commercialize or patent his contributions to the Internet technologies he has developed.”
Does anyone know what is the position of IBM, Microsoft, et al with regard to patent rights to the Web services specifications they are privately authoring and publishing?

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