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Patent licence

Patent licence

Posted Sep 20, 2012 17:08 UTC (Thu) by k3ninho (subscriber, #50375)
In reply to: Patent licence by boog
Parent article: Twin Peaks v. Red Hat

Up to the point where the court agrees that Twin Peaks infringed Red Hat's copyrights and so Twin Peaks lose their GPLv2 licence to the offending products. That then means Twin Peaks can't grant the (implicit) patent licence in the GPLv2 text to Red-Hat-the-customer and so Red Hat is infringing the patents. Mutually Assured Destruction.


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Patent licence

Posted Sep 20, 2012 18:11 UTC (Thu) by boog (subscriber, #30882) [Link]

Too clever?

I'm assuming they would buy their copy before the judgement. In any case, it would be an additional insurance policy.

Patent licence

Posted Sep 20, 2012 18:16 UTC (Thu) by gidoca (subscriber, #62438) [Link]

IANAL, so maybe it's just lawspeak confusing me, but section 4 says that infringement "will automatically terminate your rights under this License". It doesn't say that it frees you from your obligations. Red Hat could therefore argue that by using the software, Twin Peaks agreed to the GPL and therefore to the patent license, despite the fact that they may not actually use the GPL-covered software any more.

Keep in mind the different programs involved

Posted Sep 22, 2012 10:36 UTC (Sat) by Max.Hyre (guest, #1054) [Link]

The comments above give the impression (at least to me) that folks are thinking of Twin Peaks' offerings as a monolith. In fact, RH is suing over the mount program. mount being in violation of the GPL says nothing about the rest of their suite (FUD to the contrary notwithstanding). (Of course, if you're selling a filesystem, not having mount could put a crimp in your operations. :-)

Thus, unless mount uses the patent in question, buying a copy would afford no protection. Even if it did, the implicit license for mount wouldn't extend to any other random use of that patent.

Keep in mind the different programs involved

Posted Sep 24, 2012 9:15 UTC (Mon) by gidoca (subscriber, #62438) [Link]

You are right, I didn't think that far. My main point, though, was that IMHO shipping GPL software in violation to the licence doesn't free you from the GPL's obligations, since that doesn't terminate the agreement.

As to the discussion below whether you have to explicitly agree to a contract, at least in Swiss law (which is the only one I have the faintest knowledge about) there are three ways to enter a contract:
- written, by signature
- orally
- by taking an action that implies your intention to enter the contract (this is called "stillschweigend", which literally means tacitly, in German)

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