Patents and OpenMoko

Joe Pfeiffer joseph at
Mon Feb 11 22:40:35 CET 2008

Nils Faerber writes:
>Isn't this already a problem?
>>From what I know especially in the US patent system you are *forced* to
>actively defend your patent, i.e. if you get to know that someone uses
>your patent and is not paying you roayalties (or you get an alternative
>commercial advantage like cross licensing) you have to sue him. If you
>do not do so the patent can be revoked.

IANAL, but -- no.  You seem to be confusing patents with
trademarks -- you can lose a trademark by failing to actively defend
it; a patent can't be revoked on those grounds (now, if you let
somebody use your patent for a decade before you sue them, you could
end up getting far less damages than you would have otherwise.  But
that's a different issue than losing the patent).

>And you have to collect royalties since the patent system only cares
>about businesses, i.e. the sole purpose of patents is to make money from
>it. Not using it to make money by either sublicensing or self-use of the
>IP will constitue non active use of the patent and is also a reason for

Again, no.  There is no requirement that you charge royalties.

>So even if you have the intend of not sueing you might be forced to
>either sue others and/or collect license fees.
>The expressed intend not to make money from the patent could already be
>a reason for not accepting it.
>So imagine someone else using the OpenMoko software on another device
>with some of your patented parts in it. You would be forced to sue this
>This is not what we you/we want.

It's also not the law.

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