Web organisation W3C has issued a notice asking for clarification on an Apple patent.
Apple, earlier on this year, disclosed a US patent, number 5,764,992 and at the time said it wanted an exclusion for the patent, related to the Widgets 1.0 Updates specification.
The patent is entitled Method and apparatus for automatic software replacement.
Now the W3C is asking for a public call for prior art on the Apple patent, specifically asking for software update systems before June 1995 that offer a viable solution that applies to updating widgets.
W3C wants that because if such prior art exists, a specification could be achieved that provides a way of achieving its goal without infringing on the Apple patent.
Apple, which is a member of the web application working group, triggered a patent advistory group (PAG) which looks to find ways to circumvent the patent and create a royalty free Widget updates spec.
You can find more on the W3C notice here.