MPL/CDDL patent provisions

John Cowan jcowan at
Tue Feb 8 14:25:34 UTC 2005

Jason White scripsit:

> a. Rewrites the implementation of the patented algorithm, or
> b. Contributes a new module which happens to implement the patented
> algorithm.

I don't think either of those activities, certainly not (a), exceed the
limits of the MPL/CDDL patent grants.  As I've said before, a license
to use a patentable article is a license to make other articles with
it, if it is of the appropriate kind (it wouldn't be much use having a
license to use a patented gear if you weren't allowed to make machines
incorporating the gear).

As for the distinction between (a) and (b), it doesn't seem to me that
patent law cares whether the implementation is a modified implementation
or a ground-up reimplementation:  either activity infringes absent a
license, and neither should infringe when there is a license, as here.

Software patents suck, anyhow.


John Cowan   <jcowan at>
    "Any legal document draws most of its meaning from context.  A telegram
    that says 'SELL HUNDRED THOUSAND SHARES IBM SHORT' (only 190 bits in
    5-bit Baudot code plus appropriate headers) is as good a legal document
    as any, even sans digital signature." --me

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