AFL termination for patent action mutuality

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at
Wed Sep 29 01:52:23 UTC 2004

Marcus Sundman asked:
> Why did you remove the mutuality from the "termination for patent action"
> clause in the AFL? I've searched the web for hours but I can't find any
> discussion about it.

Because big companies that own patents refused to accept software under such
a license. Open source contributors who used that license would only be
harming the prospects for acceptance of their software.

Two later versions of the patent termination provision in the OSL/AFL are
discussed at length in Chapter 9 of my book. [See "Open Source Licensing:
Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law" (Prentice Hall 2004),
available from, Barnes & Noble and other places.] Section 10 of
OSL/AFL version 2.1 is now acceptable to patent holding companies because
they can define the scope of the risk to their patent portfolios when
in-licensing software under these licenses. 


/Larry Rosen

cc: license-discuss at

Lawrence Rosen 
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482 
707-485-1242 * fax: 707-485-1243 
email: lrosen at 

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