During the Emerging Technologies Conference at M.I.T., World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee reportedly said that royalty-free standards are key to advancing the online world. All companies developing emerging technology are threatened by the prospect of patent licensing royalties, Berners-Lee said. "You could never find out what patent could possibly apply to what technology," he said. "You could never guess what things people might have the gall to say they have patented already. It really is a universal fear."