[SciPy-Dev] Procedure for new code submission (pyHHT)
Sat Jun 9 01:47:38 CDT 2012
It was my understanding that patents developed under research
contracts for NASA were encumbered with restrictions that allow the
free use for teaching and (federally funded) research, but that may
have changed in recent years. Perhaps it would be good to check if
such a restriction is on the patent. A question to ask NASA?, or was
there something passed into law that applies to all software developed
with federal funding? Been away from the US for a while now, so it
might have changed. But clearly, for any other use, the user will
have to get a licence (in the US). Are there export restrictions ?
On Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 9:11 PM, Robert Kern <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 9:39 PM, Jaidev Deshpande
> <email@example.com> wrote:
>> I agree that HHT should remain isolated for the moment. When it
>> matures, the community can decide where it should reside.
>> As for the IPR status of the HHT, I want to share the reply Dr Norden
>> Huang gave when I asked him about it.
>> "The NASA patent covers only the US. You are free to do whatever outside US
>> territory as long as you do not make money in the US. Go ahead with your
>> project, and good luck."
> Dr Huang does not own the patent anymore. Ocean Tomo Federal Services
> LLC does, unless if they've sold it off. I do not believe he can give
> you a license to the patent. His opinion about what can be done
> without acquiring a license to the patent is in conflict with US law.
>> Now, I would assume that this exempts research based on the HHT from
>> the IPR regulations, even in the US. A lot of people have been doing
>> it for almost a decade now, and many were Americans. And I don't think
>> anyone pays or gets paid for using the HHT algorithms for academic
> Sorry, I'm afraid not. I believe the current law of the land was laid
> out in Madey v. Duke which interprets "commercial use" *extremely*
> broadly. Universities charge tuition and take in research grant money,
> and using patented inventions without paying royalties would make a
> university's program more attractive, both from students paying
> tuition and granting agencies, than otherwise. That was enough of a
> commercial nexus for that judge. It also draws on previous cases that
> limit the experimental use defense to cases where the use is "solely
> for amusement, to satisfy idle curiosity, or for strictly
> philosophical inquiry". University research programs are anything but
> idle curiosity, I'm afraid. The Supreme Court declined to review the
> case, leaving it the controlling precedent nationwide, and it has not
> been overruled to my knowledge.
> Here is the decision, edited down to the juiciest bits:
>> And anyhow, there are many implementations of HHT on
>> matlabcentral.com, there are freely available R packages too.
> Sure. You can write open source software that includes patented
> inventions. Users of that software have the responsibility to
> independently acquire a license for the patent. The fact that academic
> users have long ignored that responsibility just shows their ignorance
> of the law (and I don't entirely blame them since it's complicated);
> it is not a reflection of the law itself.
> Robert Kern
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