Miguel announced on his blog that Microsoft has place ECMA 334 and 335 specs under the Microsoft Community Promise . So that essentially means that projects like Mono implementing these standards will no longer have to worry about potential patent infringement law suits from MS so long as they fully implement the standard.
Now some might be concerned with the clause “fully implement the standard.” But think about it. Microsoft wants to see their .net technology take off and for someone to take the standard and produce a version that does not fully implement it, then extends it in a different way, results in technology that chances on breaking other implementations of the standard in a way that can jeopardize the community surrounding it. Hmmm… I guess MS does not want other people doing what it does to other standards to push out competition. Regardless, this is still a great boon for Mono.
I hope now we can set aside this bickering as to whether implementing Mono will get you sued by Microsoft. On one hand, while Microsoft is admitting, again, through this license that they feel Mono is infringing on their patents, they have relegated this concern /dev/null with their community promise.
Now I for one would like to see more attention placed on what an open standard is and how an open standard could be labeled open when it is patent encumbered. Case in point: Mpeg.