[License-review] Approval: BSD + Patent License

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu
Fri Jan 15 17:30:24 UTC 2016

Given that ECL is Apache 2 for research institutions I doubt it¹s in wide
use outside of Sakai and a few other edu projects.

If you do work in a work for hire situation you don¹t own that work and
you cannot issue it under ECL V2 or anything else.  Likewise it probably
owns the patents you invented.

So when Software Project Foo is released under ECL v2 it¹s not being
released by the authors but by Big Research Grant University which owns a
lot of patents including Patent Bar that was developed under a grant by
someone else that the authors and approving management chain had no clue
about because it¹s part of a completely different division/laboratory/etc
with it¹s own IP office, approval chain and contractual requirements but
part the same umbrella BRGU legal entity.

ECL doesn¹t need fixing since it was built to address a specific domain.
If you aren¹t MIT/Lincoln, Georgia Tech/GTRI, Caltech/JPL, etc it probably
doesn¹t solve any problems you have and Apache the better choice.

On 1/15/16, 11:52 AM, "License-review on behalf of John Cowan"
<license-review-bounces at opensource.org on behalf of
cowan at mercury.ccil.org> wrote:

>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
>> 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
>> 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
>License-review mailing list
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