Defensive patents for free and open source software
January 11, 2006 9:27 AM Subscribe
Defensive patents for free and open source software: can I bind a specific type of license with a patent ?
posted by a007r to law & government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I started recently to develop a piece of open source software for the average Linux desktop user. However, I seek your help on an issue that has been lurking my mind for a few months now. Let me explain the situation first.
- each day as a linux user makes me more and more paranoid towards any proprietary software corporation, that includes Microsoft and Apple.
- I believe I have created a concept of software that is somewhat revolutionary.
- I do not want this concept to be included into a proprietary Operating System, unless I do it myself maybe, but that's unlikely. Call me selfish if you want ;)
- I do not want Microsoft or Apple to slap me in the face with patenting my own idea and passing it as theirs.
- I am not a lawyer, and I'm Canadian. I have no affinities with the US legal system.
- I usually hate software patents, but I have the feeling that using one would be the only thing I could do to protect myself and my ideals. That patent would need to be filed in the US of course.
Now the real question: is it possible to "bind a patent to a license" ? My idea would be that I would create a patent that would force someone using it to release the said software with its source code, so, from a legal standpoint, if Microsoft was to clone my concept into their software, they would have to make it open source, and then I could worry less.
I know that this sounds really weird and that if I asked slashdot, I would likely get flamed just for the idea of patenting F/OSS. I don't know if this idea is realistic at all
, or if I am just in need for a therapy. Could you help me know a little bit more about the "system" without needing to hire a lawyer just to explain me that?