Patents versus Standards
From consortium.org, Oasis (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is modifying it's patent policy in good and interesting ways. It continues to be a interesting discussion. Formal standards exist to promote multiple implementations (as opposed to a proprietary specification that exists to encourage the use of a single implementation.) Patents as opposed to standards exist to protect a single implementation. These two bodies of policy/law serve different parts of the economic spectrum.
The Consortium.org news feed is an excellent news tracker for this space.