Re: How can we submit code patches that implement our (pending) patents?

From: Craig Ringer <craig(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
To: "Tsunakawa, Takayuki" <tsunakawa(dot)takay(at)jp(dot)fujitsu(dot)com>
Cc: "pgsql-hackers(at)lists(dot)postgresql(dot)org" <pgsql-hackers(at)lists(dot)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: How can we submit code patches that implement our (pending) patents?
Date: 2018-07-04 01:48:39
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On 4 July 2018 at 08:27, Tsunakawa, Takayuki <tsunakawa(dot)takay(at)jp(dot)fujitsu(dot)com
> wrote:

> Hello,
> As I asked at the PGCon developer meeting this year, we'd like to offer
> our company's patents and patent applications license to the
> PostgreSQL community free of charge. If I heard correctly at that time, we
> could continue this discussion during the unconference, but I missed that
> opportunity (I'm sorry). So, please let me continue the consultation
> here. If some other mailing list is appropriate such as pgsql-core, let me
> know (but I hope open discussion will lead to better and fair ideas and
> conclusion.)
> There are three ideas. Is there any effective idea?

My big hesitation with all those approaches is that they seem to exclude
derivative and transformative works.

PostgreSQL is BSD-licensed. Knowingly implementing patented work with a
patent grant scoped to PostgreSQL would effectively change that license,
require that derivatives identify and remove the patented parts, or require
that derivatives license them.

I'm assuming you don't want to offer a grant that lets anyone use them for
anything. But if you have a really broad grant to PostgreSQL, all someone
would have to do to inherit the grant is re-use some part of PostgreSQL.

I guess there's a middle ground somewhere that protects substantial
derivatives and extracts but stops you using some Pg code snippets as a
freebie license.

Craig Ringer
PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Training & Services

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