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Patent non-aggression pacts

Revision as of 01:07, 25 May 2010 by 85.76.96.57 (talk)

There's a common belief that the major software patent holders have patent non-aggression pacts signed with each other. This page has been started to collect evidence to support or dispel this belief.

Known bilateral agreements

Tacit agreements

Whether a deal exists on paper or not, the patent system creates a situation like mutually assured destruction among superpowers. For example, even if there were no agreement between IBM and Microsoft, each one knows that with vast amounts of software (=risk) and thousands of software patents each (=weapons), the result of on litigation would be an explosion of retaliation and counter-litigation.

Collective organisations

Specifics

Microsoft and Sun

Microsoft and Sun made a deal in April 2004: Limited Patent Covenant And Stand-Still Agreement

Elements of this deal include:

  • Both parties give a covenant not to sue for any past damages (Section II.1)
  • Agreement to abstain from litigation for six months, regarding all their software (Section III.1)
  • [The deal] shall not apply to Authorized Licensees of Open Office [...] Microsoft shall not be foreclosed by this Agreement from seeking damages from Authorized Licensees of Open Office (Section IV.1)
  • Star Office (unlike OpenOffice.org), is not excluded from the deal (Section IV.3)
  • Microsoft will pay Sun $900 million (Section VIII) plus an annual fee. In 2005, the fee was $54 million,[5] and the total for ten years is estimated at $450 million.[6]

Related pages on ESP Wiki

External links

References