April 8, 2020
Open COVID Pledgepublic licensing for pandemic response
Open COVID Pledge, a group of scientists, lawyers, and advocates, has launched an initiative for companies, academic institutions, and others to license their intellectual property freely for response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The process is outlined in two steps: first making a public pledge, then following up with a public license, such as one based on a published form.
Intel has signed on and granted a public license. Perhaps predictably, they made some changes to the form. Here’s a redline (or “diff”), the quickest way to see both the published form and Intel’s adaptation:
OPEN COVID LICENSE 1.0
Having made the Open COVID Pledge, we(the "Pledgor"), in order to speed the development and dissemination of the technologies needed to end the COVID-19 Pandemic and mitigate the effects of the disease, grantthe license described below.
Our intent in doing so is to advance the shared cause of ending the COVID-19 Pandemic, and we do so without any expectation of consideration or compensation, and with knowledge of the rights we are licensing.
1. GRANT AND SCOPE
The Pledgor grants to every person and entity that wishes to accept it, a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully paid-up license (without the right to sublicense)
to make, have made, use, sell, import, reproduce, adapt, translate, distribute, perform, display, modify, create derivative works of and otherwise exploit all patent, copyright and other intellectual and industrial property rights (other than trademarks and trade secrets) in products, services, compositions of matter, machines, articles of manufacture, processes, and works of authorship that we have the right to license under these terms (the "Licensed IP"), for the sole purpose of ending the "COVID-19 Pandemic" (as defined by the World Health Organization, "WHO") and minimizing the impact of the disease, including without limitation the diagnosis, prevention, containment, and treatment of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
2. TIME LIMITATION
This license is effective as of December 1, 2019 and lasts until one year after WHO declares the COVID-19 Pandemic to have ended
3. REGULATORY EXCLUSIVITY
ThePledgor will not assert any regulatory exclusivity against any entity for use of the Licensed IP in accordance with the license granted inSection 1, and wewill not seek injunctive or regulatory relief to prevent any entity from doing so.
4. DEFENSIVE SUSPENSION
The license and non-assertion covenant granted above shall automatically be suspended, and the Pledgor shall be free to assert the
Licensed IPagainst the licensee,if the licenseeor anyentity affiliated with the licenseethreatens or initiates a suit or legal proceeding alleging the infringement of any patent or other intellectual property rightagainst the Pledgor or any entity affiliated with the Pledgor with respect to activity relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The license granted herein is "AS IS" without any warranties, express or implied.
I was involved preparing an early draft of the public license terms, but others have taken the reins and driven the project to public debut. I’m sure all of them would say what hopefully goes without saying here: Open licensing is what we know how to do. We hope that it can help. But it is the ends—responding effectively to this pandemic, and supporting those who are as best we can—not these means, that matter and motivate us. This is not about open source. That’s just our part in doing everything we can.
If your company, university, or other organization has IP that matters for COVID response, and wants to make the Open COVID Pledge, please feel free to reach out to the project at firstname.lastname@example.org, to me at email@example.com, or both. All involved will be happy to help with understanding, preparation, execution, and follow-through. It’s why we do what we do.
Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome by e-mail.
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