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From Cliff Schmidt <cli...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [BPEL] Validity of a BPEL implementation at Apache
Date Thu, 07 Dec 2006 07:25:23 GMT
On 10/14/06, Matthieu Riou <mriou@apache.org> wrote:
 > The action item is underlined by the e-mail below I think. It's to  
ascertain
 > whether all of the IPR definitions submitted by each of the party  
involved
 > in BPEL is acceptable for the ASF. I sent a separate e-mail for  
each IPR
 > statement submitted to the BPEL TC to allow separate discussion  
for each of
 > these (dims asked to send it this way, I think he has some  
experience with
 > this process).

Matthieu,

Rather than responding to each of the separate threads that you  
started, I think it makes more sense for me to provide overall  
information, history and suggestions in one place.

- None of the published licenses on the OASIS BPEL IPR page would be  
acceptable to the ASF.  Some of the licenses have several issues; but  
one example is that they do not allow us to sublicense the rights to  
our users, nor do they allow our downstream users to become licensees  
without contacting the patent owner and signing a contract.  There  
are other issues, but that's the easiest to describe right now.
- However, it does not appear that any of the statements claim any  
*issued* patents that we would need to license.  IBM lists three  
patent applications (each in various intl jurisdictions); they have  
not updated the statement to say anything is issued and after doing a  
quick check of the various patent application databases, I don't  
believe any of them have.
-  If any of these companies (or anyone else in the world) was to  
inform the ASF that they now had an issued patent that they would  
license only under such terms as posted on the OASIS site, we would  
(if we believe the patent to be valid, infringed, and enforceable)  
have to either a) invent around the patent, b) shut down the project,  
or c) convince the company to offer us more acceptable terms.
- Until that time, I see no reason why ODE should not be able to  
continue its usual development.  However, prior to a release, I would  
suggest that the project send an email to each company that claims to  
have an essential patent pending (e.g. not BEA) and simply inform  
them that we are unaware of any issued patent in this space and are  
therefore continuing to make and distribute implementations of the  
specs.   I've already sent an email to Microsoft about these specs,  
asking them if they will include the spec under the OSP (http:// 
www.microsoft.com/interop/osp/default.mspx), which is acceptable to  
the ASF.

Brief Historical Note:
This looks similar to the WS-Security situation we had a year ago or  
so.  No entity was claiming to have issued patents, although some  
claimed to have published and unpublished applications.  The licenses  
offered for these potential patents were not acceptable to the ASF;  
but at that time, there was nothing to license.  IIRC, we (Dims as WS  
PMC chair; Sam Ruby from the board; and me, as legal guy) decided  
(with advice from counsel) that we would not stop WS-Security from  
releasing, but that this indeed might have to be the case one day if  
someone came to us with an issued patent and a license that looked  
like what was published at the time.  Since that time, Microsoft (one  
of the spec authors making an IPR statement on WS-Security) has  
introduced the OSP (based, in large part, on our input), which now  
covers (WS-Security).  However, I don't believe we have seen any  
revised licenses or notifications of issued patents from anyone else.

Cliff

 > On 10/14/06, Noel J. Bergman <noel@devtech.com> wrote:
 > >
 > >
 > >
 > > This appears to be purely informational.  If there is an action  
item,
 > please advise.
 > >
 > >     --- Noel
 > >
 > >
 > > -----Original Message-----
 > > From: matthieu.riou@gmail.com [mailto:matthieu.riou@gmail.com]On  
Behalf Of
 > Matthieu Riou
 > > Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 16:27
 > > To: legal-discuss@apache.org
 > > Subject: [BPEL] Validity of a BPEL implementation at Apache
 > >
 > > Hi,
 > >
 > > I'm starting this thread to assess whether it's acceptable to  
have an
 > Apache implementation of the BPEL4WS and WS-BPEL specifications.  
Apache Ode
 > is a project undergoing incubation having exactly this goal (
 > http://incubator.apache.org/ode) and we would like to know what's  
our status
 > regarding the IP of each these specifications.
 > >
 > > BPEL4WS (versions 1.0 and 1.1) has originally been written by  
Microsoft,
 > IBM, Siebel, SAP and BEA Systems. It has then been donated to the  
Oasis
 > group to continue the development of the specification and renamed  
WS-BPEL
 > (version 2.0 in public review now). The following page lists  
statements made
 > by all the stakeholders for BPEL4WS 1.1:
 > >
 > > http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/wsbpel/ipr.php
 > >
 > > Since then, all the work done on the spec (changes for WS-BPEL  
2.0) falls
 > under the Oasis IPR policy:
 > >
 > > http://www.oasis-open.org/who/intellectualproperty.php
 > >
 > > It's unclear to me how the IPRs for BPEL4WS 1.1 impacts those of  
WS-BPEL
 > 2.0.
 > >
 > > I'm going to start a separate thread for each company linking to  
(or
 > directly including) their specific IPR documents to allow  
discussion for
 > each of them. There's also a summary available here:
 > >
 > > http://cwiki.apache.org/ODExSITE/bpel-ip.html
 > >
 > >
 > > Thanks a lot for your help,
 > >
 > > Matthieu Riou
 > >
 >
 >


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