Common Public License (IBM) Patent License Clause 2(b)

Ravicher, Daniel B. DRavicher at
Thu Jan 25 22:57:18 UTC 2001

FSF's opinion, stated at is:

"IBM Public License, Version 1.0
This is a free software license but it is incompatible with the GPL. 

The IBM Public License is incompatible with the GPL because it has various
specific requirements that are not in the GPL. 

For example, it requires certain patent licenses be given that the GPL does
not require. (We don't think those patent license requirements are
inherently a bad idea, but nonetheless they are incompatible with the GNU

Dan Ravicher
1633 Broadway, 47th Fl.
NY, NY 10019
p. 212.315.8032
f. 212.586.7878
e. dravicher at

-----Original Message-----
From: Carter Bullard [mailto:carter at]
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2001 1:44 PM
To: license-discuss at
Subject: Common Public License (IBM) Patent License Clause 2(b)

Gentle people,

Assuming that the IBM license is cool (and the CPL)
would there be any problem to removing the patent license
clause 2(b) and references to it in the General Section and
getting OSI certification?

This would remove only the patent license, not any license
to do the Open Thing, and clause 2(c) would cover the rest?

So is 2(b) a requirement? Opinions?


Carter Bullard
QoSient, LLC
300 E. 56th Street, Suite 18K
New York, New York  10022

carter at
Phone +1 212 813-9426
Fax   +1 212 813-9426

> b) Subject to the terms of this Agreement, each Contributor 
> hereby grants
> Recipient a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent 
> license under
> Licensed Patents to make, use, sell, offer to sell, import 
> and otherwise
> transfer the Contribution of such Contributor, if any, in 
> source code and
> object code form.  This patent license shall apply to the 
> combination of the
> Contribution and the Program if, at the time the Contribution 
> is added by
> the Contributor, such addition of the Contribution causes 
> such combination
> to be covered by the Licensed Patents.  The patent license 
> shall not apply
> to any other combinations which include the Contribution.  No 
> hardware per
> se is licensed hereunder.
> c) Recipient understands that although each Contributor 
> grants the licenses
> to its Contributions set forth herein, no assurances are 
> provided by any
> Contributor that the Program does not infringe the patent or other
> intellectual property rights of any other entity.  Each Contributor
> disclaims any liability to Recipient for claims brought by 
> any other entity
> based on infringement of intellectual property rights or 
> otherwise.  As a
> condition to exercising the rights and licenses granted 
> hereunder, each
> Recipient hereby assumes sole responsibility to secure any other
> intellectual property rights needed, if any.  For example, if 
> a third party
> patent license is required to allow Recipient to distribute 
> the Program, it
> is Recipient's responsibility to acquire that license before 
> distributing
> the Program.

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