Opera Accuses Apple of Using Patents to Stop Open Web Standards

Browser maker Opera has accused Apple of using its patents to block open web specifications.

According to the company, Apple is using four of its patents to prevent W3C's Touch Event Specification from becoming an open web standard. Opera accused Apple of deliberately informing the W3C about its patents at the last minute.

The browser maker said that this was the reason why Apple decided not to join the Touch Events Specification work group because then it would have been required to make the W3C aware about its patents much sooner.

Opera said Apple engaged in similar behaviour in 2009 and 2010 as a tactic to delay the web standards. Each time, the patents cited by Apple were irrelevant to the specification, but the W3C is now forced to form a patent advisory group which will cause a delay.

"What makes this matter even worse is that this doesn't just affect these specific standards. The Patent Advisory Groups could in fact slow down the development of other standards by pulling people from other projects in order to investigate these claims," wrote Opera developer Haavard Moen in a blog post.

"The investigation can take several months, and will take time, resources and money to complete," he added.