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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1answer
52 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?
6
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2answers
469 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 ...
3
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2answers
69 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 ...
4
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2answers
277 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 ...
1
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1answer
28 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-...
6
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1answer
884 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 ...
4
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0answers
131 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 ...
12
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2answers
937 views

Have open-source contributors ever been sued or threatened with a lawsuit for patent infringement?

Have open-source contributors ever been sued or threatened with a lawsuit for patent infringement in their contributions? What was the outcome? The way I see it, there is the "experimental use" ...
23
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1answer
4k 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 ...
2
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2answers
118 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 ...
4
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1answer
54 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 ...
1
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1answer
54 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 ...
2
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1answer
81 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 ...
3
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2answers
4k 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?
4
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1answer
147 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 ...
3
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1answer
120 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 ...
1
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1answer
193 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 ...
-1
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1answer
41 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 ...
2
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2answers
168 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 ...
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1answer
52 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 ...
2
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1answer
569 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. I don't quite understand what's the use of it. If Alice lets Bob use a piece of software under the terms ...
10
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1answer
1k 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-...
4
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1answer
137 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 ...
2
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1answer
254 views

can I use this GitHub library that is using a patented data compression?

I was looking the repository https://github.com/ladislav-zezula/StormLib and it's using the MIT license, so far so good. However, looking at the following file https://github.com/ladislav-zezula/...
2
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0answers
51 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 ...
3
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2answers
3k 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 ...
2
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1answer
171 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 ...
7
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2answers
711 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, ...
4
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2answers
184 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 ...
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1answer
215 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.
6
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2answers
521 views

Is there a license that both provides patent protection and does not require attribution?

Looking at https://choosealicense.com/appendix/, we can see that there are a number of licenses that provide patent troll protection, and there are also a few licenses that that do not require ...
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1answer
73 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 ...
11
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1answer
661 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 ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Non commercial project which might be using a patent

If a non commercial or open source project uses a technique which some can argue is covered by a particular patent, what would be implications be. Do you have to pay royalties. If project does not ...
7
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1answer
2k views

What are the ZFS patents and when do they expire?

One of the "big deals" in FreeBSD these days is ZFS. The issue is that ZFS is under a non-compatible license and has patents preventing clean-room re-implementation. My question is for how much ...
2
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1answer
569 views

How does ASL 2.0 licensed software interact with patents or patent pending

If software artifact is patented and then licensed under Apache Software License 2.0 what are the limitation due to the patent? Can the patent be used for non derived works. Independent (better) ...
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3answers
111 views

A licence that lets anyone do anything! Except patent

I have been searching for an open source license to use for my project. There are many little things i would like to have but only one thing that truly matters - I don't want anyone to use my projects ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Using ffmpeg in comercial application?

Is it OK, patent-wise, to use FFMPEG (for transcoding and video trimming) in a commercial application, be it free of charge or pay per install, on Android and iOS considering that both Google and ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Meaning of patent clause in licenses

What does this mean? "This license provides an express grant of patent rights from the contributor to the recipient."
5
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1answer
522 views

How does the Apache 2 license's patent grant interact with third-party patents?

From what I've read about the Apache 2 license's patent grant clause, it's intended to protect users of Apache-licensed software from software patents. How does that work if the contributor doesn't ...
5
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1answer
81 views

Open sourcing software that I do not own IP to

I have written some software based on publicly available research papers that other people have written. I know that the authors of the research papers have filed for patent for their work. I do not ...
12
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3answers
414 views

What does it mean to license a patent to software?

I’m learning about the Eclipse Public License. According to Wikipedia, it “requires that anyone distributing the work grant every recipient a license to any patents that they might hold that cover the ...
2
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1answer
89 views

What if I publish a paper under the Creative Commons license and still patent the work it refers to?

I've just submitted a paper to an open access journal which operates with the Creative Commons license. Details here: http://www.lmcs-online.org/ojs/copyright.php The subject of the paper is an ...
5
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1answer
666 views

Does the Apache license provide any benefit if I don't have any patents?

As far as I understand, the Apache 2.0 license is a fairly permissive license. It seems to me as if the only difference between the Apache license and other licenses (such as the MIT license), is the ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Relation between the creative commons license and the patent process

I have an algorithm. I'd like to publish this in an open access journal under the creative commons license. But I'm also considering a patent. How do these processes sit together? Does publishing in ...
17
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1answer
5k views

Against what does the Apache 2.0 patent clause protect?

The Apache 2.0 patent clause says: Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, each Contributor hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, ...
12
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1answer
692 views

What exactly is the issue in Microsoft-Novell agreement?

I'm trying to understand what constitutes the issue in Microsoft-Novell agreement, and why is it so important that GPLv3 has a special clause to address such agreements in the future. So far I ...
2
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0answers
99 views

I have filled a pending patent, can I still publish my code as an open source? [closed]

I have filled a pending patent for my project in USPTO, can I still publish the source code (project) as an open source? What about that if I had a complete patent for it?
6
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1answer
1k views

If I license software under the MIT license, will I be able to collect patent royalties?

The GPLv2 and GPLv3 has anti-patent clauses. The GPLv2 patent clause is "liberty or death": For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all ...
33
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3answers
2k views

How could using code released under CC0 infringe on the author's patents?

Creative Commons defines a CC0 license type (here's the full legal code) that claims to allow creators to release their works into the public domain by waiving "all their copyright and related rights ...