OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

ebxml-dev message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [Elist Home]

Subject: [ebxml-dev] The significance of CPPA v2

With the approval of ebXML CPPA v2 as an OASIS Standard this
month, I think it would be useful to reflect for a moment on the
significance of this milestone for ebXML and for electronic
commerce in general.

The standardization of OASIS ebXML CPPA v2 is of epochal
importance for two reasons.

First, the technology itself is central to the XML realization of
the EDI trading model and, beyond that, to the implementation of
large-scale B2B projects in general.  It will be recalled that
ebXML CPPA was originally developed by IBM as tpaML, the Trading
Partner Agreement Markup Language.  Some idea of the importance of
IBM's contribution of tpaML to the ebXML initiative in early 2000
can be gained from an excellent IBM white paper on tpaML that can
be found at


For the convenience of people who might be reading this message
offline, I've included a copy of that paper below.

IBM's original concept for the use of tpaML can be found in a
presentation at


Though much of the emphasis in this presentation is on the use of
tpaML in the specific context of IBM's business process framework,
it gives a good idea of the central role that tpaML was intended
to play in IBM's plans for ecommerce and the similar role that
CPPA will play in the ebXML ecommerce infrastructure.

The second reason that CPPA v2 will be of central importance for
B2B has to do with the status of the intellectual property related
to its implementation.  In a message to OASIS dated 28 March 2002
IBM disclosed that it had a patent "which relates to or is
essential to compliant implementations of OASIS ebXML
Collaboration Protocol Profiles (CPP's) and Collaboration Protocol
Agreements (CPA's) specifications."  The patent referred to is US
Patent 6,148,290 (Service Contract for Managing Service Systems),
filed in September 1998 and issued in November 2000.  The full
text of the patent can be obtained by entering its number into the
database at


The abstract reads as follows:

   A service contract system for providing a service includes a
   communication network, a plurality of parties coupled to the
   communication network and a service contract specifying
   unambiguous rules of interaction for the parties during
   transactions for the service. A method for managing service
   transactions between a plurality of parties coupled to a
   communication network, includes the steps of jointly developing
   a service contract having unambiguous rules of interaction
   between the plurality of parties regarding a service,
   registering the service contract in each of the plurality of
   parties and generating, from the service contract, enforcer
   modules consistent with the rules of interaction for managing
   transactions of the service.

It seems clear to this non-lawyer that the patent covers features
that might be essential to the implementation of a wide variety of
ecommerce systems, not just ebXML.  It's significant, therefore,
that in May 2002, IBM promised to grant royalty-free licenses to
all IBM patents required by CPPA v1 and v2 and committed to
continue providing RF licenses for subsequent versions of CPPA.


The royalty-free license was later extended to open-source
software as well.


Much has been made of the fact that CPPA v2 still cannot be
considered completely unencumbered, but it remains, to my
knowledge, the only application of the technology covered by the
relevant IBM patents that IBM has publicly pledged to license
royalty-free.  The practical effect of this as far as I can see is
to make ebXML the only TPA-based B2B ecommerce framework that can
be implemented without incurring a future obligation to pay
royalties to IBM for the TPA component.


Attachment: tpapaper.pdf
Description: Binary data

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [Elist Home]

Search: Match: Sort by:
Words: | Help

Powered by eList eXpress LLC