Re: GPL'ed Patent Pool

    This proposal is aimed mostly at large companies holding
    lots of patents who are Linux-freindly, such as IBM, Novell,
    and RedHat.   But I don't know how to contact 'the right people'
    in these companies to get this going.  Also, the proposal is
    a bit raw, and this list is really good at whacking half-baked 
    ideas ...

      This license grants users the right to use this patent,
    when its implemented in GPL'ed code.

A few patent holders have signed such licenses.  This isn't really a
pool, in the usual sense, because each patent is individually licensed
to GPL-covered software.  If 10,000 patents had already been licensed
in this way, that would not put any additional pressure on patent
holder number 10,001 to participate.

Therefore, even if everyone that likes free software licenses patents
in this way, their having done so would not pressure anyone else to do
so.  I don't see how this idea could lead, even if it is very
successful, to putting any pressure on Microsoft (for instance) to
join the pool.

Most ideas for a patent pool try to arrange for the patents in the
pool to pressure other patent holders to join the pool.  That requires
licensing the patents in the pool to whoever joins.  But it is not
easy to work out the details.  People have been looking at the idea of
a software patent pool for about 13 years now, but no one has ever
been able to get one started.  The problems are very hard.  There are
many different ways to organize such a pool, but no one has come up
with a way that does the whole job.  Also, it is not clear what sort
of patent pool you might be able to find the first members for.

I'd suggest first to look for a company that has a lot of patents and
wants to join a software patent pool.  Then we could talk with that
company about what kind of pool to set up.

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