Proposed new OSD item - patent termination
bruce at perens.com
Sat Apr 9 14:10:04 UTC 2005
Matthew Garrett wrote:
>BSD is an obvious example of one that doesn't do anything related to patents
There is an implicit patent grant in the BSD license. If you distribute
software embodying your own patents with a license to make use of the
software, you are effectively granting an estoppel regarding those
patents. I suppose the estoppel might be limited to the practice of the
patents as it is carried out in the software that you distributed, but
given that you are also granting a license to modify the software,
that's less clear.
>Effectively, terminating a patent license just turns the license into one that didn't grant you a patent in the first place.
In some cases, the copyright license, not just the patent grant, should
terminate upon a software patent suit.
In his presentation on GPL 3 at the OSDL conference, Eben Moglen
suggested that a better defense against software patents would be a goal
of GPL 3. I would imagine this might take the form of a blanket
termination of all GPL 3 software in response to a software patent
lawsuit regarding GPL 3 software.
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