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If a library is licensed under the MIT license but has patented algorithms in its source, can I just pull out the source files I need that don't contain any of the aforementioned material and reference them directly in my project? In addition, the source files to be used are going to be used without any modifications. On top of that, do I need to do anything extra in the attributions portion of my theoretical software, such as specifying that no portions of this software are using any of the patented algorithms? I don't even know what the legalese for that will even look like if that is the case.

On normal occasions, I just tend to list it down as-is like below:

Library Name

Copyright Notices

Link to Github repository or Website

MIT License Text

This is the first time I have encountered something like this, and unlike OpenCV where users can simply specify to put in the non-free flag when building its library, the one I'm currently looking at doesn't have that option.

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can I just pull out the source files I need that don't contain any of the aforementioned material and reference them directly in my project?

Yes. The MIT license allows you to modify the licensed work in any way, which includes deleting bits you don't want/need and incorporating it into other works. (The same in fact applies to any open source license)

do I need to do anything extra in the attributions portion of my theoretical software, such as specifying that no portions of this software are using any of the patented algorithms?

This is not required by the license; all that is required is what you are currently doing: to include the copyright and permission notices in any derivative works.

That said, it may still be a good idea to note that the patented algorithms have been removed as this will give any consumers of your software (both end users and other developers if you choose to release the source) confidence that your software is not patent encumbered and can in fact be used freely. Of course, be very sure you have actually removed all the patented code!

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    Adding to the last paragraph: mentioning that your code, unlike the original, is not patent-encumbered can even be a unique selling point! Jul 24 at 16:25
  • Thank you for answering! Any examples on how the wording will look like for that one specific scenario of not being "patent-encumbered?"
    – JDBones
    Jul 24 at 19:02
  • @JDBones Given it is not legal wording, you can be slightly fast and loose with it. I'd go with something like "To the best of JDBones's knowledge, none of the patented algorithms present in the original distribution of X are present in this software". But IANAL. Jul 24 at 19:18

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