STWL 1.0, revision 5

Arnoud Engelfriet galactus at
Wed Nov 17 20:43:38 UTC 2004

Bernhard Fastenrath wrote:
> 	5. In case the licensee takes legal action alleging infringement of 
> software patents the licensee holds and concerning open source software 
> as defined by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) this license is suspended 
> for the duration of the validitiy of said patents.

I'm missing the "excluding countersuits" that you had in the
previous version. But legally speaking it seems fine.

> 	6. In case the previous clause is held to be unenforceable by local 
> jurisdiction the author of this software retains the right to suspend 
> this license at any time without further explanation under the 
> conditions of the previous paragraph.

I would say "by a competent court" rather than "by local
jurisdiction". A jurisdiction is a geographical region
which cannot rule anything. And "competent" here means "has
the authority to rule", not "they understand what they're
doing" :)

But if the clause is unenforceable, then I don't think it's
enforceable to invoke an at-will suspension clause. That would
so evidently be an attempt to avoid the court's order that it
might be seen as contempt.

> Yes, the clause could only form a protective environment based on 
> hesitation to enforce software patents against open source if a large 
> number of projects were to adopt similar clauses and, of course, the 
> clause were enforceable at all.

In principle the clause seems enforceable. It's similar to the
early versions of the OSL and AFL and several other licenses
(MPL1.0?). But it's a good way to get the license blacklisted
at any patent-owning company.


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:

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