Patents and OpenMoko
bogdanb.frie0606 at spambob.net
Wed Feb 13 12:05:58 CET 2008
Patenting OpenMoko, and then granting everyone perpetual, free use of the
patent is the way to go. Everyone means those who does not enforce their
patents against freedom software projects. If they do go enforce their
patent, they will likely go against OpenMoko, should they find a weak legal
spot. This would be a hard twist from the current system, just like the
Proprietary software vendors could easily join this kind of "community"
licensing for patents.
As long as you do not attack a member of the community, anyone could use any
Of course if a community member starts enforcing patents, he should be
"expelled" automatically (as in forcibly exit community). This could be
included in the patent licensing terms. Anyone breaking them, would rule
themselves out. Also the initial patent licensing agreement can not be
changed even if, OpenMoko goes bankrupt -God forbid!- and it's patents get
into Acacia Research "portofolio". This is perpetual copylefting - as free
software always evolves into something better and new, patent regranting is
more or less "guaranteed".
Alas, this does little to fight Acacia and the like.
Public Patents Foundation (pubpat.org) or Electronic Frontier Foundation (
EFF.org) could be a starting point for this effort.
On Feb 7, 2008 10:00 PM, Sean Moss-Pultz <sean at openmoko.com> wrote:
> Dear Community,
> Most of you know that OpenMoko is a fully independent company at this
> point. With this great opportunity comes many challenges. Today I would
> like to share one with you all and ask for some advice.
> We need to file patents for our hardware as well as software designs.
> While my personal views on software patents are inline with people like
> Eben Moglen, as a company, we are forced to play by the rules of the game.
> What I want is for a our company's patents to be freely available, for
> anyone, but for defensive purposes only.
> 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).
> Thanks in advance for the help.
> OpenMoko community mailing list
> community at lists.openmoko.org
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