The code bases won't really be isolated; IBM vs Sun patent standoff?
Posted Jan 27, 2005 6:22 UTC (Thu) by JoeBuck
Parent article: Sun makes its move
If something useful is found in OpenSolaris that Sun hasn't patented it, after the usual LWN article in the kernel section explaining how it works, it can be implemented for Linux. Similarly, I'm sure that Sun developers have for some time taken notice of ideas coming from the Linux developers. The incompatible copyrights just mean that the code has to be re-implemented.
That leaves algorithms patented by Sun.
If Sun wants to stick to a CDDL-only patent licensing approach, there's the issue that IBM's patent license does not apply to the CDDL, because it was not one of the OSI-approved licenses as of January 11, 2005 (see IBM's official patent pledge document, for Europeans, the 01/11/05 is to be interpreted American-style as MM/DD/YY). All IBM has to do to stick it to Sun is to decide not to change that date, until Sun reciprocates by granting patent licenses to at least GPL software. The result, then, is a standoff: Solaris risks infringement of IBM's patents, and IBM can hold off taking action against Sun as long as Sun doesn't take action against Linux.
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