[License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] patent rights and the OSD
Tzeng, Nigel H.
Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu
Tue Mar 7 23:57:35 UTC 2017
Oooops :). Ignore the empty email.
Why does who holds the patent matter in this case? If a patent exists and you don't have a patent grant actually precludes distribution of code it would apply regardless of who owns it right?
If the existence of a patent doesn't preclude distribution then it doesn't violate the OSD.
So a patent grant by the contributor only protects in a very small fraction of cases. It doesn't even protect against bad actors intending to submarine patents because they could simply sell those patents to a separate legal entity that acts as a patent troll before they do a FOSS release.
From: Christopher Sean Morrison <brlcad at mac.com<mailto:brlcad at mac.com>>
Date: Tuesday, Mar 07, 2017, 5:57 PM
To: license-discuss at opensource.org <license-discuss at opensource.org<mailto:license-discuss at opensource.org>>
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] patent rights and the OSD
By my reading, those "distribution terms" violate OSD #1 and #7. This is potentially a problem for any license (e.g., all the permissives) that doesn't specifically speak to patent rights. If the distribution terms specifically deny a patent grant, it will no longer be possible to freely redistribute the source code (that is, IF any contributor holds patent rights whose claims are implemented by the source code...).
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