Re: NYT Patents column on W3C, CSS, Intermind, Microsoft, and

Joseph M. Reagle Jr. (reagle@MIT.EDU)
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 13:17:08 -0500

At 03:03 AM 2/25/99 -0800, Rohit Khare wrote:
>MS sounds a little self-serving on the cross-licensing terms: I don't
>think I know of any Sun or IBM license that demands that!

The interesting event of note is the recent additions to the Mozilla
license. I've been talking to folks about this (but with a bigger scope), so
I'm hoping that soon the open standards/source community will have a GPL
type "collective pool" for patents...
From: "Joseph M. Reagle Jr. (W3C)" <>

New (1999-02-23): NPL 1.0M released with new patent language and provisions
for dually-licensed code. Read the updated license or the new FAQ.

Basically, it is neat on two parts:

1. If I donate a patent or copyrighted software to mozilla and someone comes
after me for patent infringement with respect to my Mozilla contributions, I
have the right to revoke THEIR (the attacker's) right to use my patent or
copyrighted contributions. That is of course, unless we work out a deal
between ourselves that leaves the code base and everyone else's right to use
it untouched.

2. If I donate a patent to mozilla, and someone comes after me for a
completely unrelated patent infringment, I can still yank their use of my
mozilla patents. They do this because it is so common to keep a reserve of
patents in hand such that if someone nails me, I can nail them back. So they
don't want to deprive you of your defensive reserve just because you put it
into mozilla.

Note, these claims both pertain to if you INITIATE a patent infringement
suit, you are still free to violate and challange patents.


6. How do Sections 8.2, 8.3, and 8.4 work?
The rationale is that someone should not be able to benefit from your
contribution to the Mozilla code base and also sue you for patent
infringement. So this section allows you to revoke that person's rights to
use the code you contributed to Mozilla or to receive payment for your
contribution. In addition, if someone sues you for patent infringement for
code that's not in the Mozilla code base, you can revoke the patent grant
you made to that person under the NPL. This allows you to use such patent
rights defensively to respond to a claim made against you.

Joseph Reagle E0 D5 B2 05 B6 12 DA 65 BE 4D E3 C1 6A 66 25 4E
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