STWL: please comment

Bernhard Fastenrath bfastenrath at
Sat Nov 13 15:41:58 UTC 2004

Arnoud Engelfriet wrote:
> Bernhard Fastenrath wrote:
>>I was trying to restrict this to intellectual property claims derived 
>>from software patents. Do you think the wording is ambiguous?

Thank you, I will rephrase the paragraph in question but I think both 
the AFL and the IMPL do not go far enough. The idea of the STWL is to 
deny the licensee to exercise any intellectual property rights derived 
from software patents against any developer or user of open source 
software if open source software would be the sole reason for that action.

I do not restrict this to a particular open source license or a 
particular open source software, so a patent owner who sues a user of 
GPL'ed software for infringement of his intellectual property claims by 
that software automatically terminates all his STWL licenses.

> Yes, quite so. Maybe you should use the language given in the 
> Academic Free License or the IBM Public License:
> AFL:
> This License shall terminate automatically and You may no longer exercise
> any of the rights granted to You by this License as of the date You commence
> an action, including a cross-claim or counterclaim, against Licensor or any
> licensee alleging that the Original Work infringes a patent. This
> termination provision shall not apply for an action alleging patent
> infringement by combinations of the Original Work with other software or
> hardware. 

This is  restricted to a single piece of software.

> If Recipient institutes patent litigation against a Contributor with respect
> to a patent applicable to software (including a cross-claim or counterclaim
> in a lawsuit), then any patent licenses granted by that Contributor to such
> Recipient under this Agreement shall terminate as of the date such
> litigation is filed.

This is much weaker: It terminates patent licenses, not the software 
license and only if a contributor is sued.

>>5. If you are owner of software patents you agree to refrain from
>>any legal action based on infringement of your intellectual property 
>>claims derived from __said_patents__ against users of open source 
>>software and concerning open source software as defined by the Open 
>>Source Initiative (OSI).
> "Intellectual property claims" and "software patents" are terms
> that are very hard to define. Besides you define the scope of the clause
> in such a vague way that I have no idea what I'm no longer allowed to do.

It is a clause added to a BSD-style license so the idea is that all
clauses are required or the license is terminated.

> The above clauses clearly spell out what is and is not permitted.

Thank you, I will rephrase the paragraph.

> Arnoud

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