Subject: Re: termless copyright and patents
From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 13:14:18 -0700
Tue, 03 Oct 2006 13:14:18 -0700
Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> I have never been able to understand the intended scope of so-called
> "implicit" patent grants in the GPL or other open source licenses. At least
> some of what people believe about such licenses may be wishful thinking.
>
>   

What do you think of a rule that says:

   If you convey a GPL program then you covenant
   that you will not assert your essential patent claims
   in any GPL program if your claims rest on a patent
   that would be invalid or inapplicable if the program
   you conveyed were prior art, even if the works you
   conveyed were not prior art.

I don't claim that either GPLv2 or GPLv3 says that (they
might or might not):  only that it is a simple rule, is easy
for courts to follow, is consistent with the goals of the GPL,
neatly explains the interaction of copyright and patents in these
matters, subsumes all protections in the GPLv3 draft,
and leaves patentees with licensable patents.

-t






> I prefer written terms that I can analyze.
>
> /Larry
>
>
>   
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: s [mailto:s@ssimo.org]
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2006 8:50 AM
>> To: stephen@xemacs.org
>> Cc: Thomas Lord; Free Software for Business
>> Subject: Re: termless copyright and patents
>>
>> On Wed, 2006-10-04 at 00:47 +0900, stephen@xemacs.org wrote:
>>     
>>> s writes:
>>>
>>>  > The extent of the GPLv2 implicit patent clause and that of the
>>>       
>> explicit
>>     
>>>  > GPLv3 should be more or less the same.
>>>
>>> That is the FSF's position, but the status of implicit patent licenses
>>> is apparently very controversial, and I would imagine that that means
>>> that so is the equivalence of implicit terms and explicit ones.
>>>       
>> That's why I say "more or less" :-)
>>
>>     
>>> Also, as Tom points out, there is a difference in legal terminology
>>> here ([implicit] "license" vs. "covenant not to enforce"), and I
>>> wonder if that doesn't prevent them from being equivalent in important
>>> ways.
>>>       
>> This is a very good question, but I see no better solution. But it make
>> sense to have a word of too from a Lawyer (Larry ? :) too known if he
>> thinks the GPLv3 explicit covenant may cover less cases than an implicit
>> one.
>>
>> Simo.
>>     
>
>
>   



Lawrence Rosen wrote:
I have never been able to understand the intended scope of so-called
"implicit" patent grants in the GPL or other open source licenses. At least
some of what people believe about such licenses may be wishful thinking.

  

What do you think of a rule that says:

   If you convey a GPL program then you covenant
   that you will not assert your essential patent claims
   in any GPL program if your claims rest on a patent
   that would be invalid or inapplicable if the program
   you conveyed were prior art, even if the works you
   conveyed were not prior art.

I don't claim that either GPLv2 or GPLv3 says that (they
might or might not):  only that it is a simple rule, is easy
for courts to follow, is consistent with the goals of the GPL,
neatly explains the interaction of copyright and patents in these
matters, subsumes all protections in the GPLv3 draft,
and leaves patentees with licensable patents.

-t






I prefer written terms that I can analyze.

/Larry


  
-----Original Message-----
From: s [mailto:s@ssimo.org]
Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2006 8:50 AM
To: stephen@xemacs.org
Cc: Thomas Lord; Free Software for Business
Subject: Re: termless copyright and patents

On Wed, 2006-10-04 at 00:47 +0900, stephen@xemacs.org wrote:
    
s writes:

 > The extent of the GPLv2 implicit patent clause and that of the
      
explicit
    
 > GPLv3 should be more or less the same.

That is the FSF's position, but the status of implicit patent licenses
is apparently very controversial, and I would imagine that that means
that so is the equivalence of implicit terms and explicit ones.
      
That's why I say "more or less" :-)

    
Also, as Tom points out, there is a difference in legal terminology
here ([implicit] "license" vs. "covenant not to enforce"), and I
wonder if that doesn't prevent them from being equivalent in important
ways.
      
This is a very good question, but I see no better solution. But it make
sense to have a word of too from a Lawyer (Larry ? :) too known if he
thinks the GPLv3 explicit covenant may cover less cases than an implicit
one.

Simo.