Community-led development "The Apache Way"
This was extracted (@ 2022-12-05 21:10) from a list of minutes
which have been approved by the Board.
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Doug Cutting drafted the following for the board to vote on: Q: If my company owns a patent and contributes to a project, and, at the time our contribution is included in the project, none of our patent claims are subject to Apache's Grant of Patent License, is there any way any of those patent claims would later become subject to the Grant of Patent License solely due to subsequent contributions by other parties? A. No. Patent claims subject to the Grant of Patent License are determined at the time of the patent holder's contribution. If, when you contribute to a project, your patent claims are necessarily infringed as a result of your contribution, then those patent claims are subject to the Grant of Patent License (even if your patent issues or is acquired later). But, if your patent claims are necessarily infringed only after a subsequent contribution by another party, the other party's contribution will not cause your patent claims to be subject to the Grant of Patent License. It was noted that the above was not in a format for the board to vote on, but it was discussed none-the-less. Doug was upset that the issue was still being debated, instead of a vote being held on it. Some directors were less than clear on what exactly was being asked, since the Answer seems to answer 2 questions, somewhat related but different. It was also agreed that despite claims that the above would be "limited" in scope, a board vote on it would make it a much more general policy, not something specific. Greg stressed that the board would be much more pro-active in following and addressing the discussion on the board list for this issue.