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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects
Date Tue, 02 Jun 2015 22:41:30 GMT
Ralph Goers suggested the following NOTICE:

"This distribution contains software. Software consists of mathematical
statements and expression of business processes and as such is not subject
to patents."

 

LOL. The next time that question comes up at the U.S. Supreme Court, I'll
list you as an expert witness on that point. :-)

 

Fortunately I'm not Apache's attorney to defend you.

 

/Larry

 

 

From: Ralph Goers [mailto:ralph.goers@dslextreme.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 2:54 PM
To: Legal Discuss
Subject: Re: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects

 

 

On Jun 2, 2015, at 2:44 PM, William A Rowe Jr <wrowe@rowe-clan.net
<mailto:wrowe@rowe-clan.net> > wrote:

 

On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 12:42 PM, Roy T. Fielding <fielding@gbiv.com
<mailto:fielding@gbiv.com> > wrote:

On May 31, 2015, at 3:20 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com
<mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com> > wrote:

 

[Responses to three board members in one email.  :-)  ]

 

Greg Stein wrote:

> 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.

 

Nobody is concerned about "random claims of infringement from random
developers." Or rather, "if you are concerned about such a claim, then say
so in the NOTICE file. If not, move it to the trash." Nothing more is
required from ASF or its members and contributors. I would ask only for open
disclosure within Apache projects of patents that seem interesting to the
project PMC itself. 

 

There is no risk to ASF from such disclosure. Under ALv2, disclosures of
potentially relevant patents come with no warranties from ASF. 

 

ALv2 covers our software products, not our disclosures. We are just as
liable for our statements as any human being, and any statement we might
make is evidentiary for both us and our downstream recipients.

 

So let me ask what might be a blindingly obvious question.  A handful of
awarded patents apply to a code base submitted to the ASF, licensed under
the AL by the patent holder, patent rights are conveyed.

 

Do we note the specific patent numbers/titles?  If so, where?  README?
NOTICE?  PATENTS?

 

 

My answer would be to have a PATENTS file that contains something similar to
the following text:

 

This distribution contains software. Software consists of mathematical
statements and expression of business processes and as such is not subject
to patents.

 

 

;-)

 

Ralph

 


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