Promises: Red Hat, IBM Patent, Google Patent, Comparisons

Who

  • Red Hat
  • IBM
  • Google
  • Greg DeKoenigsberg

What

  • Red Hat Patent Promise
  • IBM Patent Promise
  • Google Patent Pledge
  • Patent Promise Comparisons

Where

When

  • 2014
  • No Date Given
  • No Date Given
  • No Date Given

The Gist

Multiple companies have published promises that they won't come after open source projects for patent infringement of certian patents.

The Good

  1. Red Hat is standing against patents, and even though they hold some, if your software is free and open source, and under one of their approved licenses they won't target you.
  2. Companies are at least somewhat trying to allow open source to thrive, even when it might be something that company owns a patent for.
  3. These help to promote the open source community.

The Bad

  1. Too much legalese. It would be awesome if someone who knows legalese would take things like these and put them in layman's terms.
  2. Some of these companies are still more interested in protecting themselves than they are helping out the open source community.
  3. Even after digging in to some of the legalese, they still seem fairly vague.

The Questions

  1. How did these companies amass all of their patents?
  2. Red Hat seems to be trying to help protect open source but the others seem more interested in protecting themselves. Is this true?
  3. Are there any times where someone has ended up in a legal battle with one of these companies after they published their promises?

Review

These promises provide a lot of information about specific patents that are currently held by differenet companies, and how that affects the open source community.
Half a dozen red roses and 3 white roses.

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