Sun's Covenenant in OASIS

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at
Thu Sep 29 22:10:09 UTC 2005

To various lists:

In a welcome move toward open software standards in OASIS, Sun Microsystems
has covenanted not to enforce its patents against implementations of the
Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) specification.

This is a good thing because it allows the development of free and open
source implementations of office applications without fear of patent
infringement claims by Sun.

Most important, because this is from Sun, a company that plays an important
leadership role in many standards organizations, this is an example for
other OASIS member companies to follow. It proves once and for all that
patent holders in OASIS working groups can find reasonable ways to allow
their patents to be implemented for software standards without demanding
royalties or imposing burdens of license execution and restrictions on

I hope that other patent holders will do the same for the OASIS standards to
which they contribute.  

If they follow this lead, we will no longer have the spectres of patent
infringement lawsuits and RAND-type licensing for software applications that
implement OASIS standards. Both open source and proprietary software can
thrive in that environment.

/Larry Rosen

Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
707-485-1242  *  fax: 707-485-1243
Author of "Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and 
   Intellectual Property Law" (Prentice Hall 2004) 
   [Available also at]

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