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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32
votes
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 ...
21
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
15
votes
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, ...
14
votes
2answers
132 views

Is technology in expired patents open source?

After a patent expires people are free to use it. Does this means, that the technology described in the claims are then Open Source?
14
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2answers
196 views

Do software patents for common formats (gif, mp3, h264) apply globally? [closed]

I've been told that I should not use some format because it's patented (gif, mp3, h264). I'm not a U.S. citizen but from E.U. Do these patents apply to me? Are they global? U.S. specific? Or is it ...
12
votes
3answers
368 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
816 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" ...
12
votes
1answer
642 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
634 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 ...
9
votes
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-...
8
votes
1answer
60 views

Is an official standard necessarily an open standard?

One of the hallmarks of the FLOSS philosophy is its reliance upon open standards. The OSI has the one definition of an open standard. The FSF has its own There are many bodies which produce ...
7
votes
2answers
439 views

Interference of Software Patents with Free & Open Source Software

While visiting wikipedia page on Free and open-source software, I noticed the challenges from the template at bottom: In which Digital rights management and Software patents seems considerable to me....
7
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
595 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
402 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
870 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
488 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
944 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
509 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
votes
1answer
639 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

Integrating code without a patent license into a code base with a patent license

What issues are involved when taking code from (for example) MIT licensed code and including it in a Apache 2.0/GPLv3 licensed project. Does that mean that there is simply no patent license granted? ...
5
votes
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
votes
1answer
79 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
47 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
48 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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?
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
934 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
166 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
965 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
48 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
63 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
504 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) ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
229 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
votes
2answers
114 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
48 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 ...
2
votes
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?
1
vote
3answers
102 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
461 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
158 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
vote
1answer
51 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
49 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 ...