[License-review] Approval: BSD + Patent License

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Fri Jan 15 16:52:25 UTC 2016

Tzeng, Nigel H. scripsit:

> "Any patent license granted hereby with respect to contributions by an
> individual employed by an institution or organization is limited to patent
> claims where the individual that is the author of the Work is also the
> inventor of the patent claims licensed, and where the organization or
> institution has the right to grant such license under applicable grant and
> research funding agreements. No other express or implied licenses are
> granted."

This clause seems to be grotesquely underinclusive.  For example, if I
issue a work under the ECLv2, I am granting no patent licenses at all,
because my employer (which has nothing to do with the work) has no
right to issue such licenses on my behalf under any pretext whatever,
much less under any non-existent funding agreements.  Furthermore, the
patent licensor might not be the inventor, but the inventor's heir
or devisee or successor in bankruptcy or what not.

> I presume that the limitation that the only patent licenses explicitly
> granted are for patents that were invented by the authors of the work to
> be too limiting for general use.

The same note about not being the inventor applies here.  It's presumably
too late to fix the ECL (and if it is used only by educational
institutions, it may not matter), but its language should be rectified
before being used more widely, it seems to me.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
Your worships will perhaps be thinking that it is an easy thing
to blow up a dog? [Or] to write a book?
    --Don Quixote, Introduction

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