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From cia...@member.fsf.org (Ciarán O'Riordan)
Subject Scope of AL-2 patent grant
Date Fri, 25 May 2012 15:19:39 GMT

Hi all,

I know grant scope is an old topic.  I've spent about 6 hours reading
the legal-discuss archives from 2005 and 2008, but my question might be
simple...

If I have an encryption patent which is infringed by an AL-2 licensed
project FOO (for simplicity, it is not an ASF project), and I contribute
some unrelated memory management code to FOO, do the users then have a
licence to use my encryption patent?

Here's the first half of AL-2 section 3:

    each Contributor hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide,
    non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as
    stated in this section) 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.

So, the resulting patent licence will apply to the whole Work (line 4).
Great.  And what is granted (which claims) in this patent licence?
Lines 6-8: the claims infringed by my Contribution (irrelevant here),
and the claims infringed by combination of my Contribution with the
Work.

Is that the sum of the claims infringed by my contribution plus by the
existing Work?

Or is it the claims which are infringed *because* my contribution was
added?  I.e. the claims infringed by my contribution, and the claims
infringed partly by my contribution (but not claims which are infringed
by parts of the Work unrelated to my contribution).

I'm beginning to think the answer is obvious, but I just wanted
confirmation.


Thanks.
-- 
Ciarán O'Riordan
+32 (0) 485 118 029

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