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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Apache License : grant of patent license and derivative works
Date Tue, 29 Mar 2005 21:42:48 GMT
Geir Magnusson wrote:
> The Apache License says in
> section 3 "Grant of Patent License"  :
<snip>
> I read this to mean that if I make a derivative work, I have no reason
> to believe that the patent license granted by the contributor to the
> original work applies to me and my derivative work.

I read it the same way. Not only that, but I read the patent grants in all
other open source licenses the same way. A copyright license to create
derivative works doesn't mean you get a patent license for whatever
derivative works strike your fancy.

If you create a derivative work, you must make your own decisions about
whether additional patent licenses will be needed beyond those that came
with the original work.

Broad patent grants like the recent ones from IBM, Sun and CA may help you
make that analysis, but even they are no guarantee.

/Larry Rosen

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Geir Magnusson Jr. [mailto:geirm@apache.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 12:20 PM
> To: legal-discuss@apache.org
> Subject: Apache License : grant of patent license and derivative works
> 
> We have been having a discussion elsewhere on patents and open source,
> and the following is not clear to me.  The Apache License says in
> section 3 "Grant of Patent License"  :
> 
> Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, each
> Contributor hereby grants to You a ... patent license
> to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import,
> and otherwise transfer the Work, where such license
> applies only to those patent claims licensable by such
> Contributor that are necessarily infringed by their
> Contribution(s) alone or by combination of their
> Contribution(s) with the Work to which such
> Contribution(s) was submitted.
> 
> 
> I read this to mean that if I make a derivative work, I have no reason
> to believe that the patent license granted by the contributor to the
> original work applies to me and my derivative work.
> 
> In other words, my derivative work is potentially encumbered by the
> patent for which a license was granted to the original work.
> 
> geir


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