This is very good news indeed.
Apple have weighed in with their views on the proposed policy change at the W3C. The bottom line is that they feel standards must remain royalty free:
"While the current draft patent policy does state a "preference" for royalty-free standards, the ready availability of a RAND option presents too easy an alternative for owners of intellectual property who may seek to use the standardization process to control access to fundamental Web standards. A mandatory royalty-free requirement for all adopted standards will avoid this result."
Both of these statements are so much more constructive than the email I wrote.