[Discuss] OSHW questions

gabriella levine gabriella.levine at gmail.com
Mon Nov 19 02:01:16 UTC 2012

In recent weeks I've started to formulate some answers to some questions
but these are some of the questions I've been grappling with.

0. Are there guidelines for how to "do open source hardware the right way?"
As in, how to document, where to document, what to publish, how to
effectively get community feedback etc...

1. can I patent a technology then can we also call it open source? or is
this then free tech, not open, because we would always potentially own the
rights to it, in which case that isn't honest about it being open source?
1a. what would be the implications of getting a patent and can we make our
own stipulations to a patent (ie we can never withhold information about it
even though we own it?)?

 2.would a patent or a provisional patent be something worth considering,
for protection against someone taking my technology and patenting it?
*2a.What does a patent or provisional patent do: protect against anyone
else that tries to do what we’re doing?*

 3. could *part* of the technology be patented and part be open source?

4.is my technology "un-patentable" after 1 year of documentation on line
about it?
4a. what consists of publishing / documentation? online blogs, posts, or

5.Even as open source hardware technology, do I have to be careful and do
patent research to make sure no one has patented something similar?

6. What is the benefit of an open hw corporation using license that is
hosted by another company?
6a. Who would then *own* the IP? What does it mean to *own* IP? Is oshw IP
always worth $0 because it is free and open to the public?

7. Would there be a benefit to having a specific open source license for
different companies with slightly different needs or one general license
that works for many cases? What licenses already exist for oshw and what
are the differences between them?
-how do I know what is right for my technology?

Id love to hear feedback and would also love to share some of the stuff
I've been learning

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