Enforcement of patents (was: Acceptable patent license for free software?)

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at benfinney.id.au
Thu Apr 3 21:52:17 UTC 2008

Simon Josefsson <simon at josefsson.org> writes:

> I agree that it would be better if the license said "for any purpose".
> I wonder if that is compatible with the current patent system.  Isn't
> there some requirement that you need to protect infringement on your
> patent somehow?

Not true. For example, see any "submarine patent" where the holder
keeps a granted patent quiet for many years and then surfaces only
when some implementation of it is widely accepted.

You may be thinking, instead, of trademark monopolies, which *do*
decay if not enforced by the holder.

 \         "I'm beginning to think that life is just one long Yoko Ono |
  `\   album; no rhyme or reason, just a lot of incoherent shrieks and |
_o__)                                   then it's over."  -- Ian Wolff |
Ben Finney

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