Patents and OpenMoko

Sean Moss-Pultz sean at
Fri Feb 8 16:44:33 CET 2008

Esra Kummer wrote:
>> This sounds like a great idea.  I think what you mean is that if a
>> competitor sues OpenMoko for allegedly infringing its patent, then
>> OpenMoko can counter-sue saying "BTW you are infringing this one of
>> ours too" and then it gets settled out-of-court by cross-licensing,
>> right?  
> Well I am not too sure about that...
> I would guess and prefer that the patent is used to ensure that no one 
> else patents this and sues fic/openmoko. Otherwise it would not be a 
> really free thing.. Am I right?

Yes this is exactly what we want. We want to make the patents we get 
freely available, but also only usable for defensive purposes, forever 
-- no matter what actually happens to OpenMoko, Inc.

The latter part, while somewhat pessimistic, is very important. Even if 
we go out of business, we don't want our patents to be bought up and 
then used to hurt the very Free Software projects that once (now) help us.

> So what is this defence tactic now Sean? Or do you have to figure out 
> that as well?

We honestly don't have this totally worked out yet.

> Hope you find a solution which is good in the FOSS sense 
> like you often do! Just to say it ones more: you do a great job at FIC/OM!

Thanks for your support!


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