[License-review] Approval: BSD + Patent License

Smith, McCoy mccoy.smith at intel.com
Wed Jan 20 19:46:58 UTC 2016

So, for what it's worth, I'm a patent lawyer* and I'm the one submitting the license.

As noted in the original submission, and in some of my responses, I've modeled the patent grant as best as possible to replicate the Apache 2.0/Eclipse 1.0 patent grant formulation, but for the removal of the "patent retaliation"/defensive termination clause (which is one of the stated reasons why Apache 2.0 is GPLv2 incompatible).  I'm pretty sure that the grant in the proposed license (putting aside the response I made to the very salient comments by Jim Wright, Richard Fontana, Carlo Piana, Nigel Tzeng, as well as several people who have contacted me off-list), is of equal scope to those OSI-approved, "popular," licenses.  Given that many of the people I've talked to who like the Apache patent grant, but want a permissive license that is GPLv2 compatible and has such a grant, it should grant a patent license consistent with that desire.

*As an aside, saying you're a patent lawyer just means you've been registered with the relevant government patent office to file patent applications.  It has little or nothing to do with whether you can competently draft patent licenses.  Although some of the lawyers on this list are patent lawyers, many are not, including many of the ones who have actually written the most prominent and widely-used OSI-approved licenses.  I wouldn't put too much weight on whether a patent lawyer has written a license or has given an opinion on it.

-----Original Message-----
From: License-review [mailto:license-review-bounces at opensource.org] On Behalf Of Josh Berkus
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 11:24 PM
To: mike at opensource.org; License submissions for OSI review
Subject: Re: [License-review] Approval: BSD + Patent License

On 01/19/2016 08:57 PM, Josh Berkus wrote:
> On 01/19/2016 06:12 PM, Mike Milinkovich wrote:
>> Wow, this thread has degraded to the point of silliness. 
>> Every OSI Board member who has commented on this license has said 
>> positive things about it. ‎It's a good license. It fills a niche that 
>> we have long wanted filled.
> Yes, and I have an *immediate* use for such a license.
> I haven't seen an attorney weigh in on the patent grant issues 
> inherent in a liberal patent-grant license.  Has one posted a review elsewhere?

To be specific: is the patent grant language of the license correct and successful in granting a patent license on any concepts embodied in the code released, and only on those?  It's more than a bit opaque to non-lawyers.

Josh Berkus
PostgreSQL Project
License-review mailing list
License-review at opensource.org

More information about the License-review mailing list