Doubt cast over Web standard's ownership -- "Vancouver-based UFIL Unified Data Technologies, a private company, claims that it owns U.S. patent 5,684,985, a "method and apparatus utilizing bond identifiers executed upon accessing of an endo-dynamic information node." The patent was awarded in November 1997."
This could have far-reaching implications for some SmallCos whose products & technologies exploit RDF and RSS. It'll be interesting to see if enough prior work can be uncovered to invalidate the patent claim.
IBM WebSphere : Competitive Review Building Web Services the right way using IBM WebSphere Studio -- IBM's response to Microsoft's assertion that .NET is superior to J2EE indicates that, even though much of the development community sees web services as a "level playing field," the vendors will continue to duke it out over whose technology is superior, easier-to-use, etc.
Of course, there are plenty of SmallCos pioneering in web services, so the development community should have enough choices to avoid being trampled by the BigCos.