[Discuss] Protecting ourselves from getting sued?
Alex J V
alex at makeystreet.com
Sat Mar 7 16:40:05 UTC 2015
Thank you for your feedback. Yes it is under - Commercial clause.
You mentioned - "Even if they do notice you, they might decide what you're
doing isn't a problem (for a variety of reasons)." I am curious to know
what are the "variety of reasons". Can you elaborate?
On Sat, Mar 7, 2015 at 9:49 PM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey Alex, this isn't legal advice (and it's based on US law anyway), but
> the way I understand it is that the design files and the idea embodied in
> the design are different.
> As long as you create your own design files from scratch you don't have to
> worry about copyright.
> Whatever you physically make is subject to patent law. It's possible for
> anyone with a patent similar to what you build to sue you for infringement
> and make you defend yourself in court. You can get around any patents they
> might have just by building something slightly different, however, if they
> sue you then you'll still have to spent time and money in court proving
> that you didn't infringe (or settle before it gets to court).
> It's unlikely that any of your projects will be so successful that they'll
> attract the attention of a patent holder. Even if they do notice you, they
> might decide what you're doing isn't a problem (for a variety of reasons).
> In the unlikely case a patent holder does take legal action the most likely
> first step is some kind of stop-doing-that letter. One of the strengths of
> open source hardware is speed and flexibility, so you can just stop selling
> that thing, or change the design so that it no longer infringes. If it's a
> stable design that's selling well then you might just reach an agreement to
> license the patent so you'd just pay the patent holder a fee for each unit.
> Actually going to court is a last resort that you are unlikely to end up
> choosing. You'd probably only do it if you get some outside agency to
> defend the case pro bono. If it's a really interesting or high profile or
> legally significant case then you've got a chance of getting an ally like
> Keep in mind that the open source hardware definition doesn't allow you to
> technically call your thing open source if you include a noncommercial
> clause in your license. That means that anybody likely in a position to sue
> you also probably has the option to just clone your thing and sell it
> So the potential futures are a lot more complicated than just getting
> dragged into court. That's a good thing :) Hell, if somebody does start
> giving you trouble you might even be able to get the OSHW community to
> shame them into backing down.
> On Mar 7, 2015 2:07 AM, "Alex J V" <alex at makeystreet.com> wrote:
>> Context - We are building an open source electric unicycle. Part of the
>> project we are building open source BLDC motor driver that is capable of
>> handling 500W continuous power.
>> The question here is there are tons of patents on BLDC motor driver. We
>> are not copying anyones work per say, but given the fact that motor drivers
>> have been around for a long time, as coincidence there is a lot of chance
>> that our design could potentially be very similar to one of these patents
>> and infringe them. At that point, will be get sued? If so, what do we do in
>> order to make sure that does not happen?
>> As a small team it is possible that we will not be sued, but the
>> intention is to manufacture at some point of time in scale. At that point,
>> how can open source hardware be not sued?
>> The question boils down to "We would love to putting our designs as open
>> source, but what should we do to not get sued?"
>> Alex J V
>> Find modular open source hardware for your project @ makeystreet.com
>> +91- 886 105 3989(India)
>> discuss mailing list
>> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
> discuss mailing list
> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
Alex J V
Find modular open source hardware for your project @ makeystreet.com
+91- 886 105 3989(India)
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