Communications standards have to be open. Everyone understands that. It applies to everything: DSL, IP, CCS#7, Morse code....
Generally, the people who create them are employed by organisations whose income does not depend on the standard itself, but by the sale of some other product or service that the existence of the standard enables.
In the case of Nathaniel Borenstein, I believe he was employed by Bell Labs.
In the case of Tim Berners-Lee, he was employed by CERN, so his income did not depend on WWW, and CERN's income depends on scientific success which is assisted by easier sharing of info between scientists.
I can see there are lots of problems with the patent system, but I am not sure that this example undermines the value of patents in other cases, where the inventor's income is actually dependent on the sale of the invention.