As OVHcloud expands internationally amidst an escalating threat of software patents and patent trolls, OVHcloud had no choice but to gradually build its own portfolio of software patents, which we intend to develop on a purely defensive basis. Our goal is to protect OVHcloud from the risks presented by software patents in the cloud domain and, more broadly, to discourage any open-source infringement based on software patents.
To support our open innovation strategy, we have also pursued other initiatives. For example, we have recently become a member of the Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in history, which supports freedom of action in Linux as a key element of free software. We are also participants in the GaiaX project, one of whose objectives is to guarantee interoperability standards so that users are not locked in with the same provider.
We will continue to pursue any other initiatives that protect our values and ecosystem.
We want to clarify our approach to patents, as this may raise legitimate questions from the community. For this reason, we would like to clarify our approach and make it transparent to everyone. This statement is an irrevocable commitment from OVHcloud as of its publication. To keep people up to speed across the globe, it will be updated at least every 3 years as we structure our action in favour of open source, and we will not renege on previously granted rights.
When we distribute Open Source Software, OVHcloud agrees to use only Open Source Licences, which help to limit the risk posed by software patents (primarily the Apache 2.0, Eclipse Public Licence 2.0 and GNU General Public Licence 3.0 licences). As such, and provided that the associated Open Source Licence is properly complied with, Software Patents will not be enforced against any natural or legal person using Open Source Software distributed by OVHcloud.
Furthermore, OVHcloud agrees not to use the Software Patents it is in full ownership of against any person or entity that develops, distributes, uses or sells a service based on an Open Source Community Project. Nevertheless, OVHcloud reserves the right to terminate this commitment in order to protect itself, its affiliates or the Open Source Community Project against any beneficiary who files a lawsuit or other legal proceeding against OVHcloud’s Intellectual Property rights or an Open Source Community Project.
However, OVHcloud cannot guarantee that the technologies covered by its patents do not infringe the intellectual property rights of a third party, and disclaims all guarantees as to the validity or applicability of its patents.
"Open Source Licence" refers to any licence that complies with the criteria defined by the Free Software Foundation or/and any licence that complies with the principles defined by the Open Source Initiative, as listed on https://spdx.org/licenses/.
"Open Source Software" refers to any software (including the computer program, the preparatory design material, the source code, the object code and the executable code of that computer program, as well as all elements necessary for its governance) made available under an Open Source Licence.
“Software Patents” refers to all patents held by OVHcloud relating to computer-implemented inventions, as listed in the Appendix.
"Open Source Community Project" refers to any Open Source Software publicly available and fully available online in its latest version.
Appendix 1: FAQ
What patents are subject to this pledge?
All software patents that are fully-owned by OVHcloud, as listed in Appendix 2.
Is OVHcloud the only company to articulate Open Source and these patents in this way?
No — although, of course, not all organisations are equally committed to patents and open source. We are adopting a practice that is similar to the actions carried out by players such as RedHat, IBM, Mozilla, Google and many others.
If you do not believe in software patents, why not invalidate them instead?
Patent reform is a long-term project with no guarantee of success. OVHcloud needs a strategy that is the best for its current environment. However, these objectives are not in conflict with one another, and we welcome a real long-term solution to patent reform.
If I use an open-source OVHcloud development available on GitHub, do I need to worry about potential patents?
No. As long as the developer complies with the terms of the open source licence, they will be granted a licence on a possible patent linked to this development.
What does the Patent Pledge add, if the sources of development are already open source?
With this Patent Pledge, developers can use the method or protocol protected by the patent, while retaining their freedom to develop it in their own way.
What will happen to the developments that will have benefited from the Patent Pledge, if OVHcloud decides to end this commitment?
As is the case with a licence change, for example, OVHcloud cannot go renege or attack a solution using a software patent covered by the Patent Pledge, and developed when it was in effect.
Appendix 2: List of Software Patents
|Title||Country||Patent Application - Number||Blog article|
|METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR DEFINING A WEB SITE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY||US||16/030,445|
|METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR DEFENDING AN INFRASTRUCTURE AGAINST A DISTRIBUTED DENIAL OF SERVICE ATTACK||EP||18315013.5|
|SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DEVICE MIGRATION||EP||18315018.4|
|METHOD FOR IMPROVED AUTOMATED SOFTWARE UPDATE UPON DEPLOYMENT OF A NETWORKING APPARATUS||EP||18315023.4|
|SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR OPERATING A NETWORKING DEVICE||EP||18315022.6|
|SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR OPERATING A NETWORKING DEVICE||EP||18315024.2|
|METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING SERVICE REDUNDANCY BETWEEN A MASTER SERVER AND A SLAVE SERVER||EP||18315021.8|
|SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR APPLYING A CONFIGURATION||EP||18315025.9|
|SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CONNECTION MANAGEMENT||EP||18315038.2|
|METHOD AND DATA PACKET CLEANING SYSTEM FOR SCREENING DATA PACKETS RECEIVED AT A SERVICE INFRASTRUCTURE||EP||18315043.2|
|METHOD FOR ATTRACTING USERS TO A WEB PAGE AND SERVER IMPLEMENTING THE METHOD||US||16/244,494|
|SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CONFIGURING VIRTUAL NETWORKS||EP||18315045.7|
|SERVICE INFRASTRUCTURE AND METHODS OF PREDICTING AND DETECTING POTENTIAL ANOMALIES AT THE SERVICE INFRASTRUCTURE||EP||18315048.1|
|SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR NETWORK MANAGEMENT||EP||19315009.1|
|SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR OPERATING A DATA CENTER BASED ON A GENERATED MACHINE LEARNING PIPELINE||EP||19315010.9|
|METHOD OF DEPLOYING A NETWORK CONFIGURATION IN A DATACENTER HAVING A POINT OF PRESENCE||EP||19315011.7|
|METHOD OF AND SYSTEM FOR CLUSTERING SEARCH QUERIES (Priority only)||US||16/518,170|
|METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR SUPERVISING A HEALTH OF A SERVER INFRASTRUCTURE||EP||19315028.1||https://www.ovh.com/blog/alerting-based-on-ipmi-data-collection/|
|SELF-ENCRYPTING FLASH DRIVE||US||14/191,687|
|SELF-ENCRYPTING FLASH DRIVE||US||15/077,106|
|HIERARCHICAL FLASH TRANSLATION LAYER||US||14/067,015|
|MAGNETIC RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY JOURNAL||US||14/065,641|
|MAGNETIC RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY JOURNAL FOR MULTI-LEVEL CELL FLASH MEMORY||US||14/065,589|
|LOCK-FREE RAID IMPLEMENTATION IN MULTI-QUEUE ARCHITECTURE||US||15/494,601|
|LOCK-FREE RAID IMPLEMENTATION IN MULTI-QUEUE ARCHITECTURE||US||16/163,236|
|LOCK-FREE DATAPATH DESIGN FOR EFFICIENT PARALLEL PROCESSING STORAGE ARRAY IMPLEMENTATION||US||15/600,405|
|PCIE SWITCH WITH DATA AND CONTROL PATH SYSTOLIC ARRAY||US||15/494,606|
|PCIE SWITCH WITH DATA AND CONTROL PATH SYSTOLIC ARRAY||US||16/288,924|
|REMOTE VIRTUAL ENDPOINT IN A SYSTOLIC ARRAY||US||15/844,487|
|HIGH PERFORMANCE RAID OPERATIONS OFFLOAD WITH MINIMIZED LOCAL BUFFERING||US||15/844,501|
|GALOIS FIELD PIPELINED MULTIPLIER WITH POLYNOMIAL AND BETA INPUT PASSING SCHEME||US||15/836,491|
|AUTO ZERO COPY APPLIED TO A COMPUTE ELEMENT WITHIN A SYSTOLIC ARRAY||US||15/844,505|
|SYSTEM MEMORY CONTROLLER WITH ATOMIC OPERATIONS||US||15/849,537|
|SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ACCESSING NON-VOLATILE MEMORY AND WRITE ACCELERATION CACHE||US||16/294,028|
|Distributed State Machine for High Availability of Non-Volatile Memory in Cluster Based Computing Systems||US||16/395,738|
|Target Optimized Auto Provisioning of Storage in a Discoverable Storage Network||US||16/565,889|
|FLEXIBLE RAID DRIVE GROUPING BASED ON PERFORMANCE||US||16/703,617|
|EXTENT BASED RAID ENCODING||US||16/703,620|
|Elastic Scaling in a Storage Network Environment||US||16/697,626|