[Members] Patents and Copyright in XEPs

Arc Riley arcriley at gmail.com
Sun Mar 2 21:20:22 UTC 2014


If the patent in question is owned by a XEP (co)author, they should be
required to disclose that and asked to contribute it such that it can be
freely implemented.

Eg, hypothetical company "Smart Connect" makes IoT devices and owns a
patent on a method to sync themostat settings with occupancy sensors, and
submits an XEP describing their XMPP extension that makes this work.

Without disclosure, they could wait for other companies to implement
compatible devices and then slam them all for patent fees years later,
after its become a standard and is broadly implemented.

With disclosure, they would effectively be asking the XSF to promote their
extension, while requiring anyone who implements it to pay royalties.  This
will lead inevitably to competing extensions for the same function in order
to side-step the patent royalties.

With patent contribution, they'd be sacrificing potential royalties in the
future in exchange for increased sales as a result of other manufacturers
using XMPP and their extension in a compatible manner.



On Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 5:31 PM, Dave Cridland <dave at cridland.net> wrote:

> If we mandated that patents should be contributed if you contribute (to) a
> XEP, wouldn't that mean it was advantageous *not* to contribute?
>
>
> On 2 March 2014 16:58, Arc Riley <arcriley at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> The IOT does ride the Linux hype wave in promoting itself, and I agree
>> with you that its unfortunate, however if you read their site carefully, by
>> "Linux", they are referring to the whole FOSS ecosystem not just the kernel.
>>
>> We should never have an XEP promoting the use of handshakes, codecs, or
>> methods which we know cannot be implemented by FOSS software due to patent
>> claim.
>>
>> If someone makes a patent claim against XMPP, they are making it against
>> all the FOSS implementations of it, and thus the IOT should defend it.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 9:06 AM, Winfried Tilanus <winfried at tilanus.com>wrote:
>>
>>> On 01/22/2014 04:29 PM, Arc Riley wrote:
>>>
>>> old thread alert
>>>
>>> > On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 9:38 AM, Dave Cridland <dave at cridland.net
>>> > <mailto:dave at cridland.net>> wrote:
>>> >
>>> >     We could accept contributions of patents, but that would mean
>>> having
>>> >     to defend them, which in turn imposes legal fees on us, which in
>>> >     turn means we need to ensure we have revenue sufficient to cover
>>> these.
>>> >
>>> > I would be in strong favor of re-donating any patents gifted to the XSF
>>> > to the Open Invention Network; http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/
>>> >
>>> > They are already established to manage "free for the community" patents
>>> > while using their patent pool only defensively.  Its a pretty good
>>> setup
>>> > overall.
>>> >
>>> > Several companies close with XSF have already pledged patent pools of
>>> > their own to the OIN, including patents which may directly apply to
>>> XMPP.
>>>
>>> First of all: maybe it is good to do some disclosure on the patents you
>>> are talking about here...
>>>
>>> I have been thinking about re-donating patents to the ION for some time
>>> and have been investigating the OIN, but the problem is that the ION
>>> patents are used to defend Linux, not XMPP. So in the current state of
>>> things re-donating a patent to the OIN would be a donation of the XMPP
>>> community to the linux community. That would have no benefit in the form
>>> of using those patents as defensive measure against other patent claims
>>> against XMPP.
>>>
>>> If we want to use patents as defensive measure against other patent
>>> claims, we either must convince the ION to use their patent pool also
>>> for the protection of XMPP or we must set up an own patent pool for
>>> defending XMPP. Both seem unlikely to happen to me.
>>>
>>> So the conclusion if this discussion still is, imho, that we should use
>>> the IETF approach and then await what happens. That would be the most
>>> straightforward and easy thing to do right now.
>>>
>>> Winfried
>>>
>>
>>
>
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