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I have a pending patent on my Confidence Coin invention. I shared the code publicly on Github (after I started my application), but I have not added a license yet.

This software is a blockchain invention, so I want people to use it, but I don't want people to fork it and create other coins based on the same technology, this is precisely what I hope to protect with my patent application.

What license can I put in place that will allow people to contribute to my project that would let them download, copy, modify, and using the software. I would like only to allow people to use the latest version of my software and its source code. I would like to prevent people from competing with my coin by making one of their own.

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    It's very unclear what you're trying to accomplish here, and whether a patent is the right mechanism for it. While some open source licenses (e.g. Apache 2) would require you to make a patent grant, others (e.g. MIT) wouldn't. But unless you individually license the patent, nobody would be able to use the software anyway. I suggest you take some advice from a patent attorney in your jurisdiction. – Philip Kendall Jul 20 '18 at 6:57
  • Helpful resource to improve your question: opensource.meta.stackexchange.com/q/463 – Zizouz212 Jul 22 '18 at 15:49
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The characteristics you desire in a license mean that it would not be considered an open source license by any commonly accepted definition of the term. In particular:

I would like only to allow people to use the latest version of my software and its source code.

This fails the "desert island test" - by insisting that people use only the latest version of the software, you are discriminating against people with poor (or no) Internet connections who cannot even find out what is the latest version of the software is.

I would like to prevent people from competing with my coin by making one of their own.

This is fairly clearly discriminating against specific fields of endeavor, something which is not allowed by the Open Source Definition.

More generally, patents are a thorny issue at best in the open source world. While there is some acceptance of patents which are freely licensed or come with a promise only to be used defensively, a patent which is going to be used to restrict the use of the software is pretty universally considered to make software non-free.

None of this means that you can't make your code available for others to view and modify, but it doesn't sound like you want an open source license at all.

  • Are there any standards to such license? Does it has a name? – Ilya Gazman Jul 20 '18 at 21:44
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    @Ilya The Open Source Definition, linked to in the third paragraph, has the Open Source Initiative's definition of what they will accept as "open source". (This is where "no discrimination against specific fields of endeavor," which is also mentioned here, comes from.) – apsillers Jul 21 '18 at 3:22
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I think, what you want to achieve can not be achieved by the patent. But rather with a trade mark. (Ubuntu, NextCloud, ...) https://foss-backstage.de/session/who-owns-open-source-brand

For me, these two contradict:

  • modify vs. only allow latest version

I would like to prevent people from competing with my coin by making one of their own.

In my eyes, this can be achieved by

  1. a brand - new people will need to build up the brand and may fail, see the talk.
  2. Using a share-alike license as it will reduce competition http://hintjens.com/blog:117#toc34

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