The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Click through IP licensing

The p4ideax forums terms of use has some interesting details: http://p4ideax.com/terms-of-use

Starts off mild:

User Submissions and License By using P4IdeaX, you agree that any information you send to Perforce via P4IdeaX, including suggestions, ideas, materials, and comments, (collectively referred to as the "Materials") is non-confidential.

But then gets stronger:

 Furthermore, by submitting the Materials using IdeaX, you grant Perforce and its designees an irrevocable, unrestricted, perpetual, non-exclusive, fully-paid up and royalty free worldwide license to make, use, sell, import, modify, reproduce, transmit, display, perform, create derivative works, combine with other works, and distribute such Materials for any purpose whatsoever to the extent permitted by law. This license to Perforce includes the right for Perforce to sublicense these rights to third parties.
Perforce may be working on a same or similar idea at the time of your submission. You understand that we may continue to develop our own idea independent of your submission without acknowledging your Materials.
As part of its license to your Materials, Perforce may make modifications to, derivative works of, or improvements to your Materials. These modified or improved versions shall be owned exclusively by Perforce.
Submission under a Patent or Patent Application You agree to disclose to Perforce if your Materials are protected by a patent or subject to a pending patent application. If your Materials are not yet patented, but you wish to patent your idea in the future, you also agree to disclose this information to Perforce.

Now, I think that recent updates to US patent law mean that there is no grace period here. If you post to a pretty-much-public website like p4ideax, then you have made a public disclosure and may not patent.

If your Materials are patented, subject to a pending patent application, or you intend to file for patent protection, these Terms of Use will automatically grant Perforce a license under the terms of the previous section entitled User Submission and License. Such license may be superseded only by a separate written license or assignment agreement between you and Perforce.

This is interesting. What if the materials are not yours to license?  What if you are posting GPL'ed materials? I can imagine some lawyer arguing that because you did not specify GPL when you posted, than the GPL would not apply.
Posting your idea to P4IdeaX may impact your ability to protect your idea under patent laws. If your goal is to patent your idea, we suggest you consult with an attorney before posting your idea on IdeaX. You agree not to hold Perforce liable for any loss of patent protection.

This is the other side of  ARM's "click-through licemnsing": to view ARM materials you have to promise not to use them to detect patent infringement.


As for p4ideax:  haven't registered yet.  

What about posting a link to a blog on my own site?  The link is licensed, but is the content I linked to licensed (I doubt it).


I guess my interest is left over from working at IV.

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