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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects
Date Thu, 04 Jun 2015 19:39:15 GMT
Sam Ruby asked:
> Consider the following: if I encounter a problem in Tomcat, JetSpeed, Axis
> or other project which has been solved in Geronimo, should I be able to
> incorporate code from Geronimo into my project?  Note that Tomcat, et. Al
> are not implementations of J2EE.

If we have good reason to believe that the code in Geronimo is directly related to a patent
claim for which we have a FOSS license (of some sort), then I'd probably feel comfortable
incorporating that portion of Geronimo *along with a NOTICE file* in Tomcat, JetSpeed, or
Axis. Wouldn't you? 

Perhaps the NOTICE file in Geronimo would give us more relevant information to analyze that
patent and copyright question.

Also, in any event, those NOTICE files (and SPDX) will describe the copying of one ALv2 project
code (Geronimo) into other projects (Tomcat, JetSpeed, Axis). That's provenance.

> For that matter, if I'm a third party can I do the same?

I assume the Geronimo project wouldn't have incorporated the presumably patented technology
in the first place if they didn't think that ASF has a sufficiently broad FOSS license for
our purposes in our future ALv2 aggregations. 

If downstream third parties have some reason to believe that the NOTICE we provided to them
is important to them, ask their own attorneys. We are not qualified to answer any such question.
Maybe those downstream third parties will contribute their own answers to our NOTICE file.
:-)

/Larry

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


-----Original Message-----
From: Sam Ruby [mailto:rubys@intertwingly.net] 
Sent: Thursday, June 4, 2015 11:50 AM
To: Legal Discuss
Subject: Re: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects

On Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 12:06 PM, Rob Weir <rob@robweir.com> wrote:
>
>> 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]
>
> So what about patent claims necessarily infringed in the 
> implementation of a standard by an Apache project, where the patent holder has agreed
to a
> royalty free license for implementors of that standard?   I hope we consider
> that to be sufficiently "free for everyone" even though it is not 
> necessarily free for anyone outside of implementers of that standard.

Not necessarily.

Consider the following: if I encounter a problem in Tomcat, JetSpeed, Axis or other project
which has been solved in Geronimo, should I be able to incorporate code from Geronimo into
my project?  Note that Tomcat, et. al are not implementations of J2EE.

For that matter, if I'm a third party can I do the same?

In the case of the JCP, it becomes even more complicated.  ASF members who are interested
in this topic can look at the ASF Board archives from July of 2004.

- Sam Ruby

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