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

Sparr's original answer was good, but he should have left in the bit about being sued. The point is that the language used in CC0 constitutes a legal hazard for anyone that receives a program under ...
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22 votes

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

The mere act of publication of an invention serves to put it into the public domain for patent purposes, thus rendering it unpatentable. The body of pre-existing ideas that might help thus invalidate ...
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18 votes
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What does "express grant of patent rights from contributors to users" mean?

There are two, completely independent, forms of intellectual property rights that can be used to protect software against unwanted copying/modification: Copyright Patents Copyright protects the "...
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14 votes
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Can I patent open source project?

You can not patent code. You can only patent an invention which is implemented in your code. An invention is a new and unique way of doing something. Most of all, it must be something nobody did ...
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14 votes
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Given the existence of the Apache license, and the reasons for it over MIT/BSD license, is it still safe to use MIT/BSD?

The relevant clause from Apache2 is s3: Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, each Contributor hereby grants to You a ... patent license ... If You institute patent litigation ... then ...
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13 votes

Is technology in expired patents open source?

We have to differentiate here. A patent describes a technology on a general level. And patents can be implemented, by hardware or software. The owner of a patent can restrict implementations as he ...
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12 votes

What does it mean to license a patent to software?

A practical example of the difference between software and patent licenses is FFmpeg. FFmpeg has support for many audiovisual codecs, many of which are covered by software patents in some countries. ...
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12 votes
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Why doesn't the MIT license have "patent use" permission?

The MIT and BSD licenses were drafted before software patents were common. Therefore, they completely ignore the topic. For users of MIT- or BSD-licensed software, this creates the risk of a kind of ...
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12 votes
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Patent rights: BSD-3-Clause-Clear vs BSD-3-Clause

Your understanding is incorrect. Patents are intellectual property rights that exist to protect an invention. They are distinct from copyrights, which protect the expression of an idea. Inventions ...
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10 votes

Against what does the Apache 2.0 patent clause protect?

Basically, this is designed to protect against using the patent system to circumvent the licence terms. The first clause means that if I publish anything under this licence, the users are assured ...
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10 votes

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

Suppose that I patent an algorithm, X. Then I develop and release an implementation of that algorithm, Y. I release Y with an open source license, granting permission for others to use and distribute ...
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9 votes
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Is an official standard necessarily an open standard?

The definition of an open standard is quite different from that of open source. The definition mostly governs the processes which are used to define standards. The "openness" applies to the ...
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9 votes

Can I patent open source project?

You cannot patent code. The US patent office is delivering patents for "algorithms" but even the validity of those is contested, and they won't be enforceable in many countries. Furthermore, to be ...
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8 votes
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Is there a license that both provides patent protection and does not require attribution?

By patent troll protection, I take it you refer to what the linked site expresses as "This license provides an express grant of patent rights from the contributor to the recipient". It is going to be ...
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8 votes

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

All relevant GIF patents expired in 2004. Use freely. MP3 is patented in the united states, so theoretically you can use it in an open source... if it won't be published in the USA. TL;DR - Don't use ...
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8 votes

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

There are many licenses that do not include an explicit patent license, e.g. MIT or GPL prior to version 3. These licenses only discuss copyright and warranties, not patents. In contrast, some ...
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8 votes
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Why is CC0 criticized for its patent weakness whereas other licenses aren't?

BSD and MIT don't mention patents, but have language that can be reasonably interpreted as an implied patent license. You can't use, publish, distribute, and/or sell software and deal with it without ...
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7 votes
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Interference of Software Patents with Free & Open Source Software

Why is it a problem? Patents are dangerous because they can put an additional restriction on the use and distribution of software which is not mentioned in the license. A company can freely ...
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7 votes

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

Thinking of this a bit more, it benefits large projects, and sort of gives a clear answer to why many companies open source projects use the Apache license (Apple's Swift programming language comes to ...
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7 votes
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How does the Apache 2 license's patent grant interact with third-party patents?

The license 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, irrevocable (except as ...
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  • 8,533
7 votes
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Can someone else patent an invention that I have introduced in my open source project?

In general, no: once you've published your idea (whether as open source or not), it becomes part of the "prior art" and is no longer eligible to be patented. Patents are for innovation, and almost by ...
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6 votes

What are the ZFS patents and when do they expire?

ZFS is a big deal not only on FreeBSD but also on Linux. It is a fine file system and the issue has been as far as I know as much about the patents that about the license of ZFS itself:its license is ...
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6 votes
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What exactly is the issue in Microsoft-Novell agreement?

In one of the links from your wikipedia link, Eben Moglen, the attorney for the Free Software Foundation that created and oversees the GPL, said, If you make an agreement which requires you to pay ...
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6 votes

Is technology in expired patents open source?

No. These are public domain, which can be interprated as kind of Open Source, but in fact it's just public knowledge as the wheel is.
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  • 526
6 votes

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

According to RedHat, who happens to be a prominent participant in FOSS IP litigation, the clauses to deal in the Software without restriction and including without limitation already expressly grants ...
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  • 161
6 votes
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Can I open-source a design based on a patent?

To answer the principal question in the body: yes, this would violate any such applicable patents. A patent provides the legal right to "exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, ...
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  • 38.8k
6 votes
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Am I doing something illegal by installing VLC or MPV?

A patent is a temporary legal monopoly on an invention, which grants to the holder the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, and/or importing that invention (...
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5 votes
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Integrating code without a patent license into a code base with a patent license

The MIT/Expat license is a permissive license (i.e. no copyleft), so re-licensing code with this license for the purposes of creating a derivative is normally OK. The LGPLv2.1/GPLv2+ licenses are not ...
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5 votes

Interference of Software Patents with Free & Open Source Software

Well, this is a complicated matter. Generally open source uses and covers copyright. But the rights and freedoms granted by open source or free software can be restricted with more than just copyright....
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  • 10.8k
5 votes
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Non commercial project which might be using a patent

When an invention is patented, the patent owner has exclusive rights to use that invention for the duration of the patent term, within the jurisdiction where the patent was issued. In general, there ...
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