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From Sam Ruby <ru...@intertwingly.net>
Subject Re: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects
Date Sun, 31 May 2015 21:43:10 GMT
On Sun, May 31, 2015 at 5:22 PM, Rich Bowen <rbowen@rcbowen.com> wrote:
> On May 31, 2015 4:54 PM, "Greg Stein" <gstein@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sun, May 31, 2015 at 12:52 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
>> wrote:
>>> ...
>>> This means that an opinion that a patent is "just plain BS, IMHO," is not
>>> a relevant opinion at this stage of determining infringement.
>>> As for patent validity, there is nobody at Apache who is qualified to
>>> analyze that for others. The most ASF can do is to disclose what we are
>>> aware of in a NOTICE file and let our customers do their own analysis if
>>> they want to.
>> Aren't we similarly unqualified to determine whether we infringe? I would
>> say "yes", and I'm sure you would agree.
>> Thus, to water out random claims of infringement from random developers,
>> we must wait until the patent holder *informs* us that we (likely) infringe.
>> Until the patent holder wants to assert that, then I don't think we're
>> qualified to make *any* judgement, including whether it is
>> important/relevant to provide notice.
> Forgive my ignorance, but, surely, if we are aware that we infringe,
> wouldn't we be compelled to rectify that situation before making another
> release?

Our policy indeed is that "We never knowingly incorporate patented
technology in our own products unless such technology has been offered
free for everyone."[1]

As to what we do when we are made aware of a potential infringement:
we (through our VP of Legal Affairs) will seek advice from counsel as
to how to proceed.

> This whole conversation seems to assume that we would, at any point, make a
> release while being aware of an infringement, which should never happen.

- Sam Ruby

[1] https://www.apache.org/licenses/GPL-compatibility.html

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