For Approval: Open Source Hardware License

John Cowan cowan at
Sat Jul 7 17:12:33 UTC 2007

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. scripsit:

> (BTW, regarding the patent issue, I am curious - do you mean MIT will  
> not accept patent grants or will not make patent grants?)

MIT claims that it will not make blanket implicit patent grants
of the form "You are licensed to use [etc.] any patents of ours you
need in order to use this software."  Many believe that the MIT
License (used on X Windows and other works) actually contains a
grant of this form due to the presence of the word "use" in it,
but of course the matter has never been tested.

As I understand it, by refusing/repudiating such grants, MIT
is reserving the right to make explicit exclusive licenses either
before or after the fact to licensees of their choice; furthermore, they
claim to be unable to keep track of what patents they have and
what might infringe what.

John Cowan    cowan at
   There was an old man                Said with a laugh, "I
     From Peru, whose lim'ricks all      Cut them in half, the pay is
       Look'd like haiku.  He              Much better for two."
                                             --Emmet O'Brien

More information about the License-discuss mailing list