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Blanket patent licences and promises

(Redirected from Patent promise)
See also: Non-aggression promise to employees. (These articles may get merged.)

A blanket licence is when a company gives a certain group of users/developers protection from all their patents. A fairly good example is Red Hat's promise not to use patents against free software users and developers. slashdot.org Other companies have made narrower promises that only grant protection from a small portion of their patent portfolio. Some promises are so narrow, they're probably useless and were probably just a publicity stunt.

What's good and bad

  • A "licence" is better than a "promise" or a "pledge". A "licence" has a solid definition and has been tested repeatedly in courts.
  • It's good when a licence (or promise) covers a company's entire patent portfolio, like Red Hat's.
  • It's bad when it only covers a selection, like Google's March 2013 pledge about 10 patents (from a company with 18,000 patents[1]).

Examples of company patent promises

Note: these are not examples of good promises, it's just a list which might be informative or which might help explain the issues involved.

Related pages on ESP Wiki

External links

References

  1. They had 1,200, then they bought Motorola which had a portfolio of 17,000
  2. http://www.google.com/patents/opnpledge/