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From "William A. Rowe Jr." <wr...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Patents and contributions in Contributor License Agreement
Date Tue, 03 May 2011 17:55:40 GMT
On 5/3/2011 12:31 PM, Doug Cutting wrote:
> On 05/03/2011 12:35 AM, David Gr├╝nbaum wrote:
>> How would you interpret the situation where a contribution only
>> covers parts of a patent claim? Would that still grant a license?
> As far as I know, there's no such thing as partial infringement.  If the
> work doesn't fully implement a contributor's patent claim either before
> or after the contribution, and the contribution doesn't implement one
> independently, then I do not believe a free license must be granted by
> the contributor.

Keep in mind patents are built upon claims.  It's easy to infringe just
a subset of the relevant claims, it isn't necessary to infringe each and
every claim to intersect with a patent.

The concept of 'necessary infringement' plays in here... you can't commit
code which implements claim three of your patent, leaving claims one and
two for others to code and commit, and expect that the first two claims
are unnecessary elements of the patent license your commit had granted.

> [Note: I am not a lawyer.  This is not legal advice.  I do not speak for
> the ASF in this message. This is just some guy on the internet telling
> you what he thinks.  If you need legal advice, hire an attorney.]


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