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Re: Patents: Join Open Invention Network advice

+++ adrian15 [2013-12-28 18:30 +0100]:

Quick reply as I'm dashing out

>   As you might now from earlier posts I'm the main Rescatux
> developer. Last year I received several emails (because I always
> told him that I would take a look later at it and I didn't because
> of being busy) from a Open Invention Network (OIN) contact.
>   You will find what they sent to my email below.
> Basically what you can read at their FAQ (
> http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/about_faq.php ) is:
> What is Open Invention Network®?
> Open Invention Network’s mission is to further software innovation
> by acquiring patents to be used for cross-licensing purposes to
> defend the Linux System - making them available on a royalty-free
> basis.
>   I am personally a bit unconcerned because I live in Europe where I
> think that software patents are not legal yet (or maybe they are
> because you never know when lobbys win).

There are loads of software patents in Europe. The idea that we don't
have them or that they are not litigated is wrong. The courts are rather
more reasonable than in the US though. The only thing you are reasonably
safe from is business process patents, which we TTBOMK don't have.

>   But as Rescatux can be downloaded and used in the USA I'm a bit
> concerned too.
>   Anyway, the questions are:
> 1) Should I apply to OIN so that Rescatux is a member?
> 2) What's the Debian policy about OIN? I've only found this information:
> http://www.debian.org/News/2012/20120219
> http://www.debian.org/legal/patent
> http://www.debian.org/reports/patent-faq
> but nothing specific about OIN.
> 3) Are there any specific patent guidelines for Debian derivatives?
> I didn't find anything relevant in:
> https://wiki.debian.org/Derivatives/Guidelines .
> 4) As some of the Debian derivatives representatives are in this
> mailing list, what you other Debian derivatives are doing regarding
> your patents?

Emdebian has been a member of OIN for some years. Or at least I am,
representing emdebian. So far as I could tell there was no real
disadvantage to joining up, (it doesn't cost anything, you can leave if
you like) and a small chance that it would help if something bad happened.

I am not enthusiastic about what it represents, but it seems like a
generally good thing, and I trust the people who run it.

> 5) Do you recommend me other royalty-free cross-licensing patent
> network to apply to?
> Thank you.

Principal hats:  Linaro, Emdebian, Wookware, Balloonboard, ARM

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