Questions tagged [patents]

For questions about the usages and roles of patents within open projects. This can concern protection of projects/patents, and their implications in licensing, projects, and usages.

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Can the patent grant in BSD 2-Clause Plus Patent be simply added or removed?

Suppose I receive a copy of some software with the BSD 2-Clause Plus Patent license. Can I make some modifications to that software, then distribute my changed version of that software under the BSD ...
Chris Pressey's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
115 views

Patent encumbrances on CRYSTALS-Kyber?

NIST claims that they “[have] entered into” an agreement with the holders of patents US9246675/EP2837128B1 and US9094189B2/EP2537284B1, to allow people to implement and operate the Kyber cryptosystem— ...
JamesTheAwesomeDude's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
244 views

Patent encumbrances on Falcon?

Does anyone have any hard evidence what exactly are the terms and conditions of the patent license that Dr. Whyte / OnBoard Security has pledged to provide to any prospective implementers of the ...
JamesTheAwesomeDude's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
469 views

Apache 2.0 and patent grant to the code not related to the contribution

Imagine, a company, contributes to a huge Apache 2.0 project. The company owns a patent. The project is huge, and there's a small fragment of its code which infringes on the patent. The company ...
Konstantin Solomatov's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
107 views

What is the best weak copyleft licence against patent trolling?

To avoid an XY question, the general requirements I have are: The licence should not impose operational complexity for downstream users of a library (users should not be forced to think about linking)...
saolof's user avatar
  • 143
2 votes
1 answer
235 views

What is a "patent-granting" license?

I am beginning to learn about open source software licenses. I am especially interested in how open source licenses interact with patents. I've seen the term "patent-granting" used several ...
sdg's user avatar
  • 23
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Stack Exchange's CC-BY-SA and Patents

All contributions to the Stack Exchange Websites are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC-BY-SA), either version 2.5, 3.0, or 4.0 depending on the post date. This ...
The-Coder-Who-Knew-Too-Little's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

What's the meaning (qualifications) of "machine" in GPL's "machine-readable source code"?

I'm trying to understand what is (not) a "machine" in GPL's "machine-readable source code". GPL requires you to share (a) the preferred-form-of-the-work-for-making-changes-in-it, ...
Pacerier's user avatar
  • 183
4 votes
4 answers
264 views

AGPL-3 and patents

I have developed a process which I am in the process of patenting, and would like to release all or some of the implementation under an open source license (likely AGPL-3). I am trying to understand ...
kronosapiens's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Protect public project from potential patents

We have a simple 3D-printable object, which can be used as a medical aid. We would like to publish this object free to use to the public. We would like to keep this object and further revisions and ...
Martin's user avatar
  • 161
4 votes
1 answer
194 views

Do I need to patent before open-sourcing hardware?

As I understand it, software open-source licenses are backed up by copyright law, but copyright law does not (in the US) apply to hardware. Does this mean that, before issuing any sort of open-source ...
Betterthan Kwora's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
89 views

Open source software that limits competition with a patent [duplicate]

I want to release my software under an open-source license. I got a patent on the part of it. Is there an open-source license that will allow people to use my software but will not grant a patent ...
Ilya Gazman's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
189 views

What does Section 2.3 a in the MPL 2.0 mean?

Section 2.3 a) of the MPL 2.0 States: no patent license is granted by a Contributor: (a) for any code that a Contributor has removed from Covered Software What does code a contributor has "...
CausingUnderflowsEverywhere's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
475 views

Using a Library Under MIT License with Patented Algorithms

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 ...
JDBones's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is there a website where one can register an idea, as an open source one?

Problem statement: I see innumerous patents being filled with vague and generalized descriptions, with most of them never coming to fruition. Humanity as a community suffers because of these patent ...
Anurag Vohra's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
858 views

Apache-2.0 and MPL-2.0: To what extent does "license termination when instituting litigation" applied?

Background Apache-2.0 and MPL-2.0 contain a clause that if you sue the project/user for infringement of your patent, all of the licenses you have been granted are terminated (though the exact rights ...
yetDragon's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
499 views

Choosing License of GitHub Repository

I really don't know much about the licenses. I am working on a project which I might upload on a website. So I have a few questions. Can someone ever steal my code and commercially use it if I put my ...
Devang Joshi's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Given the existence of the Apache license, and the reasons for it over MIT/BSD license, is it still safe to use MIT/BSD?

Apache license exists as a permissive open-source license as opposed to MIT/BSD license with the perceived benefit that it also protects authors from patent violations. Although I think I read ...
lfgtm's user avatar
  • 282
5 votes
1 answer
606 views

Why is CC0 criticized for its patent weakness whereas other licenses aren't?

CC0 is often criticized for its patent clause No trademark or patent rights held by Affirmer are waived, abandoned, surrendered, licensed or otherwise affected by this document. At the same time, ...
Canis Lupus's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Using FFmpeg only for decoding in closed source commercial application

There are already lots of questions about FFmpeg licensing but I could not find one for my specific case. I'm making an application which is able to play video files using FFmpeg (through a LPGL ...
ju2pom's user avatar
  • 71
3 votes
1 answer
720 views

Is the QWERTY keyboard layout proprietary?

Is the keyboard layout QWERTY proprietary? Can one use it in their own keyboard apps without buying a license? If no, are there any non-proprietary keyboard layouts?
goodlifetobesavecompenthusiast's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
476 views

Can I protect my open source library from USA software patent?

I am writing a library that may violate software patents. I just don't want to lose my time trying to see if I violate any software patents: I suppose that any skilled mathematician could be able to ...
Oliv's user avatar
  • 143
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

If the SIFT algorithm for vision is out of patent, can it be included in open source?

In OpenCV, you can use the SIFT algorithm in doing feature detection. According to Wikipedia, however, the SIFT algorithm's patent has recently run out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scale-...
asylumax's user avatar
  • 111
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Am I doing something illegal by installing VLC or MPV?

These packages are excluded from Fedora repositories for legal reasons. The only way to install them is to use third-party repositories like RPM Fusion or building from source. Fedora docs states ...
Ravexina's user avatar
  • 163
5 votes
0 answers
555 views

Bumptech glide licensing

I'm using bumptech/glide for loading images in my app. After reading the License i saw that most of the library was licensed under the Apache License except for the AnimatedGifEncoder. License for ...
Vince VD's user avatar
  • 151
3 votes
2 answers
209 views

Using GLPv3 for open-source library modules that can be extended and linked by closed-source libraries and binaries

I'm developing a pretty big open-source project which will require multiple technology stacks. My hope is that this project will be primarily community-based, which means the community should be able ...
Belfer4's user avatar
  • 133
4 votes
1 answer
210 views

Can I open-source a design based on a patent?

I am relatively active in the 3D-printing community and have created a design that requires a part that has been patented by a company from the United States in 1997. The part is very rare outside of ...
Markus Appel's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
925 views

If authors of open source software can be held liable for (accidentally) infringing (vaguely worded) software patents, why add one's name to it?

If person A writes software and says "I wrote it and this is my name", she can potentially be sued by a patent troll who says "I invented the program statement and the variable". If person A writes ...
eonnu's user avatar
  • 47
2 votes
2 answers
235 views

What can a patent troll win by suing an open-source foundation e.g. GTK foundation?

Do open-source foundations have oodles and piles of cash lying around for patent trolls to scoop up? Are open-source softwares licensed under the GPL not immune to patent trolls since there is no ...
eonnu's user avatar
  • 47
2 votes
1 answer
211 views

Can a patent license require all algorithm implementations to be GPL-licensed?

Let's say I develop an algorithm, and I get a patent for that algorithm. Could I create a patent license that requires anyone implementing the algorithm to license their code under the GNU GPLv3? As ...
Finn's user avatar
  • 123
3 votes
1 answer
386 views

Supporting the HEIF format in a open source library

I'm a co-maintainer of a open source (GPLv2 licensed) image metadata library and recently a contributor made a pull request adding support for the HEIF format via libheif. Since the HEIF format is a ...
Dan Čermák's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
505 views

Can someone else patent an invention that I have introduced in my open source project?

Is open source protected in any way if I haven't filed for a patent myself? Maybe a specific license? Any examples of open source projects that introduced 'inventions' that could be patented (but they ...
Kostas Gogas's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
216 views

GPL for CAD design using patented hardware

I would like to create a functional peice of mechanical hardware. To my knowledge, GPL-3.0 is compatible with non-software works. I would like to license the design of my under GPL-3.0. However, I ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
627 views

Is open source license compatible with a patent-encumbered standard?

Let's say heic is a patented image format. There is an open source implementation of heic called "libheif". GIMP use it to edit heic images, however, development team of Eye of Gnome(EOG) refuse to ...
William's user avatar
  • 113
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why is the Apache license 2.0 patent license clause useful/important?

I've read the Apache 2.0 license (A2L), in particular its clause regarding patent licensing (see below). I don't quite understand what's the use of it. If Alice lets Bob use a piece of software under ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 315
-1 votes
1 answer
69 views

What are the implications of Apple's Swift related patents?

Patent US9952841B2 - Programming system and language for application development - To make the question more concrete (based on this post in the Swift forum) - Is it safe for a new distinct ...
typesanitizer's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
5k views

Patent rights: BSD-3-Clause-Clear vs BSD-3-Clause

While the BSD-3-Clause is well known and thoroughly discussed here and elsewhere, I have been unable to find much information on precisely how the additional patent stipulation in the BSD-3-Clause-...
Alnitak's user avatar
  • 213
5 votes
1 answer
345 views

Interpretation of the Patent clause of Apache 2.0

While it is clear what a "Contributor" to an Apache 2.0 licensed software has to do when its work abide to the license I am struggling with what an user of an Apache 2.0 library has to do in the ...
Daniel Voina's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
85 views

Open Source Hardware software and patent license

I'm working on a hardware medical device which I'd like to open source without giving out my patent rights to potential competitors. I'd like to open source the firmware/software part. What's ...
pkuhar's user avatar
  • 121
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do I lose the right to use my patent after contributing to a project with Apache License 2.0?

Apache License 2.0: Grant of Patent License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, each Contributor hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, ...
E TSZ's user avatar
  • 71
3 votes
1 answer
439 views

Legality of open hardware vs. patents

While much discussion is there around software patents (because sometimes it's just maybe a creative idea), how does maker community position themselves to existing patents? In other words, is high ...
J. Doe's user avatar
  • 169
3 votes
2 answers
231 views

License for open sourcing software with pending patents

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 ...
Ilya Gazman's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why doesn't the MIT license have "patent use" permission?

From https://choosealicense.com/licenses/ and https://choosealicense.com/appendix/ I notice that the MIT license doesn't have "patent use" permisson like other popular open source licenses. What ...
Rick's user avatar
  • 323
7 votes
2 answers
954 views

What exactly does "If You […] litigation is filed" from Apache2 license mean?

I am not an native English speaker so the paragraph below is really hard for me to understand. From https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0: If You institute patent litigation against any ...
Rick's user avatar
  • 323
4 votes
2 answers
454 views

Open source license that protects my ability to patent in the future?

I just published a project on GitHub that I've been working on for a few years to see if I could maybe get some help polishing it up and augmenting it from here. I'm trying to choose a license and I ...
to_the_sun's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
463 views

How to check if an(y) algorithm is patented/copyrighted or not [closed]

I want to know if an/any algorithm is patented or not. If it is patented then where can I find its details. Please explain with an example for both cases.
pebble's user avatar
  • 111
32 votes
1 answer
7k views

What does "express grant of patent rights from contributors to users" mean?

I'm trying to choose which open source license I should use in my app, and in the description for one of the licenses, it says the license provides an "express grant of patent rights from contributors ...
Matthew N's user avatar
  • 443
1 vote
1 answer
78 views

Open Source licenses in the Dominican Republic

I live in the Dominican Republic where there Open Source isn't contemplated in the Constitution. I want to make Open Source hardware. How should I go about this? Should I get a patent and license it ...
Pablo Oyarzo's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
5k views

Can I patent open source project?

Suppose I download an open source project from GitHub and modify the code further. Can I patent this code and restrict others to reuse my "modified" code?
Mukesh Gupta's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
957 views

Is the Facebook BSD+Patents licence (aka "The React Licence") compatible with the GPL?

Is the Facebook BSD+Patents licence compatible with the GPL (GPLv3), in the sense that one could: use code licensed under BSD+Patents, as part of a project, the rest of which you write yourself (own ...
aplaice's user avatar
  • 255