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From Thomas DeWeese <Thomas.DeWe...@Kodak.com>
Subject Question on The Apache License 2.0
Date Thu, 19 Feb 2004 13:56:26 GMT
Hi all,

     We were going over the new license and noticed something that
looked really kind of odd to us, in section 3 it says:

        [...] where such license applies only to those patent claims
        licensable by such Contributor that are necessarily infringed
        by their Contribution(s) alone or by combination of their
        Contribution(s) with the Work to which such Contribution(s) was
        submitted.

     The troubling part of this is the 'by combination of their
Contributions(s) with the Work to which such Contribution(s) was
submitted.'  The question is does this apply retroactively?

     So taking the following example:

Company A contributes to project P.

Company B the contributes code that necessarily infringes Company A's
patents to project P.

     Now at this point Company A is now in the position of having
the "combination of their Contribution(s) with the Work to which such
Contribution(s) was submitted" necessarily infringe it's patents.
Meaning in at least some reading of the Apache License that they must
grant a license for the patent.

     I hope this was not the intent as it means that any committer can
instantly gain a license for any patent, expressible in software, held
by another contributor. Simply contribute the infringing code, check
it out and then use that code in what ever product they want to.

     I suspect that there is an intention of limiting 'the Work' to
"the Work as it existed at the time the Contribution(s) was
submitted".

     So going back to the example above Company A would only
be granting the license if it contributed code _after_ Company B
contributed the infringing code, because the Work it submitted the
contribution to did not infringe it's patent, a "newer version" of the
Work does.

     Is there any chance of getting this clarified?


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