www-legal-discuss mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects
Date Wed, 03 Jun 2015 20:33:54 GMT
Ross, 

 

1) If you prefer to have patent notices sprinkled across Apache documentation rather than
in a consolidated NOTICE file that 99.9% of all users can ignore, how strange that will be.

 

2) Independent implementations are a totally serious and frequent issue at ASF. On several
occasions Apache projects have moved elsewhere or been abandoned merely because of a licensing
issue between open source alternatives. The latest such issue is AOO/LO, where the dialogue
rests in some part on ASF's willingness to allow MPL-licensed works to benefit from The Apache
Way community without FOSS-license disputes?

 

3) I suggest we be very careful making statements such as "We never knowingly infringe on
a patent and so this is meaningless." Sometimes we knowingly infringe on a patent that is
FOSS-licensed to us or included in some industry standard we've implemented. Sometimes we
may knowingly infringe on a patent that we seriously believe is "BS" and not worthy of the
paper it is printed on, but our knowledge protects us from willful infringement damages. In
no event do we willfully blind ourselves to patents or pretend that they don't exist in software
around the world.

 

/Larry

 

 

From: Ross Gardler (MS OPEN TECH) [mailto:Ross.Gardler@microsoft.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 12:42 PM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org; lrosen@rosenlaw.com
Subject: RE: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects

 

To point 1) If a patent owner who contributes to an Apache  project wants to notify people
of the existence of those patents then they can do so through a contribution to our documentation.
Nothing is stopping that. We do not need to have a policy to enforce it and thus add yet more
overhead to our PMCs.

 

To point 2) independent implementations are not the concern of the ASF. 

 

To point 3) We never knowingly infringe on a patent and so this is meaningless. This fact
is stated all over our mailing lists and quite possibly our website too. If it would be helpful
we could have a clear and explicit statement in our  policy docks to the effect  that “either
(1) have a FOSS license to it, or (2) in our early but serious view we don't believe we infringe”
with the addition of “on any patents”.

 

From: Lawrence Rosen [mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 12:21 PM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org <mailto:legal-discuss@apache.org> 
Cc: Lawrence Rosen
Subject: RE: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects

 

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 <mailto: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?


Mime
View raw message