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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects
Date Wed, 03 Jun 2015 19:21:03 GMT
A great question has been asked:

> Why should we need to enumerate patent contributions?

 

We own no patents and, as has repeatedly been pointed out, our ALv2 license itself already
includes a generous patent grant for use and aggregation.

 

There are at least three other good reasons for us to enumerate patent contributions to ASF:

 

1. A patent owner can obtain infringement damages only from the date of such a notice. 35
USC 287(a). The patent owner probably wants to have its patents enumerated to protect its
own financial interests in that patent. 

 

2. While certain patent claims have been licensed to ASF under a FOSS license and then to
the world under ALv2, there may be other claims in those patents or (non-derivative) independent
implementations that aren't FOSS-licensed. Take notice.

 

3. This notice is ASF's defense to willful blindness or willful infringement in an inducing
patent infringement case. It asserts that we know of the patent and either (1) have a FOSS
license to it, or (2) in our early but serious view we don't believe we infringe.

 

/Larry

 

Lawrence Rosen

"If this were legal advice it would have been accompanied by a bill."

 

 

From: William A Rowe Jr [mailto:wrowe@rowe-clan.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 2:14 AM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org
Subject: Re: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects

 

On Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 4:09 AM, Geir Magnusson Jr. <geir@pobox.com <mailto:geir@pobox.com>
> wrote:

As a bystander, I'm confused.

 

My understanding is that the patent language in the AL is designed to moot the need for this
kind of discussion.

 

Keeping it short, contributors provide a patent license for *any* of their patents held by
those contributors that would be infringed.

 

Why would we even want to try to get an enumerated list correct up front (and maintain it)?

 

geir

 

Thanks Gier,

 

that's exactly why I'm conflicted...

 

we don't enumerate copyright contributions.  Why should we need to enumerate patent contributions?

 

I can counter this with the fact that every commit message had better provide appropriate
authorship attribution [although, you can't clarify from the commit whether the committer
or their employer owns the copyright to the commit, granted.]

 

There is no such transparent vehicle for patents.  What would you (or others) suggest?


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