[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Patents again

From: Abdullah Ramazanoglu
Subject: Re: Patents again
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 00:25:26 +0300
User-agent: Pan/ (As She Crawled Across the Table)

begin  Paul Barker dedi ki:
> Abdullah Ramazanoglu wrote:
>> - How about a GPP (General Public Patent) legal document which makes the
>> patent the valid currency, just like GPL makes the source code the valid
>> currency?
> I am totally against software patents but here is a simple solution
> for the above, for anyone who wants to use a patent to defend their
> code.
> Register a patent and state that anyone can implement this patent for
> their own use but may not distribute code (source or binary) based on
> the patent except under the GNU GPL, version 2 or later.

The problem seems to be in financial difficulties in filing a patent, and
defending or prosecuting it in the court. Also, unorganized individual
efforts might not lead to an effective structure protecting OSS as a whole.

I fancy an OSS initiative lead by FSF, which provides consolidation for
discreet OSS patents and protects OSS in a "one for all, all for one"

For instance, a mechanism might be implemented as an umbrella contract,
which provides all joining parties with all the patented ideas in the
patent pool freely, in addition to the ability to use any patent in the
pool as a defense against 3rd parties, in exchange of their own software
patents be added to the pool. This pool could be formed as two separate
sub-pools, one consisting of patents owned by FSF, and the other
consisting of patents by their due owners. There are several OSS friendly
companies today, which could be encouraged into joining the party, while
their interests are still in parallel to OSS. (We can't know what their
stance will be tomorrow.) As such, this pool also works as a mutual
alliance between companies, who are allegedly collecting software patents
as a defense mechanism. Well, such a pool strengthens their position in
this regard. Anyway, a company claiming that they collect patents only for
self defense, and claiming that they're open source friendly, cannot
possibly explain it if they abstain from joining the pool. A company might
own 50 patents, yet, it gets immunity AND *protection* of 10000 patents in
exchange. For instance, today if Microsoft sues Novell for a patent
infringement, Novell has a patent portfolio of -say- 50 relevant patents
for a counter-suit or a deal. But such a patent alliance would provide
Novell with 10000 patents to use in a counter attack. So any player in the
pool, be it a broke individual, is protected by the complete mass of the

Fantastic, if can be worked out. It might work, or might not, or much more
effective means of protection might be improvised. But this, or any other
measures, need a strong leadership and organization in the first place,
which I expect from FSF.

> Remember to throw this by a patent lawyer first (IANAL, etc).
> Still, software patents are definitely the Wrong Thing.
> Paul Barker

Fully agreed.

Abdullah        | aramazan@ |
Ramazanoglu     | myrealbox |
________________| D.0.T cöm |__

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]