Patent owners and Open Source

Are you a patent holder, wondering how to write software which implements your patent? Here's my advice: Patents expire. Towards the end of the patent's lifetime, you want to be trying to transfer the patent's franchise over to the relationship between the patent-holder and the licensee. That can be done with closed-source software, but you risk competitors writing their own software. With Open Source software, as long as you manage the relationship with the user correctly, you end up with a franchise.

Long before a patent expires, you have ZERO NEED for closed-source software. ZERO. NONE. The purpose of a patent is to give you ownership over the idea. The purpose of closed-source software is to give you ownership over the code. But if you already have a patent, you own the idea. No need to own the code -- in fact, owning the code only hurts you, because it closes you out to people who would improve the code, or even to people who would create new patented works based on your patent.

If you have a patent, you NEED open source software.

To promote and protect open source software and communities...

For over 20 years the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has worked to raise awareness and adoption of open source software, and build bridges between open source communities of practice. As a global non-profit, the OSI champions software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition (OSD), and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement.

Open source software is made by many people and distributed under an OSD-compliant license which grants all the rights to use, study, change, and share the software in modified and unmodified form. Software freedom is essential to enabling community development of open source software.