Patents and OpenMoko

Sean Moss-Pultz sean at
Tue Feb 12 05:25:29 CET 2008


Thanks a lot for such an indepth reply. I need to think about a lot of 
these points. Let me just comment on a few now...

On 2/11/08 Nils Faerber wrote:


> > Are there any existing options available to us now? Does anyone 
> know of
> > > existing companies or organizations with a similar strategy that 
> we can
> > > seek guidance or partnership.
> > > 
> > > Again, I want to emphasize that we only want our patents to be 
> used in
> > > defense. And what constitutes defense is something that we want 
> to be
> > > able to define (and potentially even redefine when new threats 
> arise).
> This is a noble aim but very very difficult to reach.

Perhaps. But I think we should try our best...

> Speaking as a free software acitvist especially software patents are a
> complete no-go.
> Speaking as community guy I would say that with the software patents 
> you
> would have to sign and publish a non-revocable community contract that
> sais quite explicitely for which use you would accept royaltee free 
> use
> and of which patents. Only then the community would be safe. Else, at
> some later point in time, someone at OpenMoko/FIC might change their
> mind and try to make money from the patents.

I think there is a way to get around this legal. We're getting some 
advice from the SFLC later this week. I'll keep everyone posted as to 
our plans.

> > > Thanks in advance for the help.
> My very quick advice: Don't get your hands dirty with patents,
> especially with software.
> You will loose a lot of credibility in the free software world and the
> benefit is questionable.

With all due respect, I must disagree here. Not filing for patents, is 
hardly an option for a global company in this day and age. The larger we 
get, the more of target we become.

I'm confident we can reach a solution that will be helpful for both our 
business and the community. I will keep you all posted as to our progress.


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