Community Commitments - Microsoft & Novell Interoperability Collaboration

Published: November 02, 2006 | Updated: November 02, 2006

Microsoft’s Patent Pledge for Individual Contributors to openSUSE.org

From time to time, individual developers wish to contribute their authored code to openSUSE.org projects. It is Microsoft’s intent that this pledge be legally binding and enforceable as to such individual contributors according to the terms below.

Non-Assertion of Patents Pledge

Microsoft hereby covenants not to assert Microsoft Patents against each Individual Contributor (also referred to as “You”) for Your distribution of Your personally authored original work (“Original Work”) directly to openSUSE.org, but only if, and to the extent, (i) Your Original Work becomes part of SUSE Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and (ii) You ensure that as a result of Your contribution, openSUSE.org, and all further recipients of Your Original Work, do not receive any licenses, covenants or any other rights under any Microsoft intellectual property. This pledge is personal to You and does not apply to any use or distribution of Your Original Work by others.

There are a variety of ways to satisfy the requirement under section (ii) above. For example, one way to satisfy the requirement under US law is for openSUSE.org to include the following provision as is in its binding contribution agreement with You:

openSUSE.org agrees that as a condition of receiving the attached contribution of Your Original Work, openSUSE.org does not receive from You the contributor any licenses, covenants or any other rights under any Microsoft intellectual property with respect to that Original Work, and openSUSE.org will ensure that all further recipients of this Original Work will be subject to this same condition. “Original Work” has the meaning as set forth in Microsoft’s Patents Pledge for Individual Contributors to openSUSE.org.

An “Individual Contributor” is an individual open source software developer (and not any corporation, partnership or other legal entity). All Microsoft’s utility patents worldwide are subject to this pledge to the extent they are owned or controlled by Microsoft or its majority owned subsidiaries.

Reservation of Rights

Microsoft reserves the right to terminate and revoke this pledge to You, as of the date granted, if You or an entity that You control asserts a patent infringement claim against a Microsoft product, service or technology.

Microsoft further reserves the right to terminate this pledge and revoke this pledge to You upon the expiration or termination of that certain patent agreement entered into by and between Microsoft and Novell Inc., dated as of November 2, 2006.

In addition, Microsoft reserves the right to prospectively update and revise the terms of this pledge, for example to accommodate applicable laws, rules, orders or regulations. The rights provided under this pledge are personal to You and are not for the benefit of others. All rights not expressly granted in this pledge are reserved by Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers

Many software developers, often referred to as “hobbyists,” write code not with the expectation of making money, but because they enjoy solving technical challenges and participating in a community of enthusiasts who recognize and encourage one another’s talents. One such community of hobbyist developers participate in the development of open source software. To further encourage these efforts, this pledge provides non-compensated individual hobbyist developers royalty-free use of Microsoft patents as set forth below.

It is Microsoft’s intent that this pledge be legally binding and enforceable as to individual hobbyist developers according to the terms below.

Non-Assertion of Patents Pledge

Microsoft hereby covenants not to assert Microsoft Patents against each Non-Compensated Individual Hobbyist Developer (also referred to as “You”) for Your personal creation of an originally authored work (“Original Work”) and personal use of Your Original Work. This pledge is personal to You and does not apply to the use of Your Original Work by others or to the distribution of Your Original Work by You or others. A “Non-Compensated Individual Hobbyist Developer” is an individual software developer (i.e., a person and not any corporation, partnership or other legal entity), including a developer of open source software, who receives no monetary payment or any other forms of consideration that can be valued monetarily for their creation of their Original Works. The fact that You may be employed as a software developer by, and receive a salary from, a corporation, partnership or other legal entity, does not disqualify You from treatment as a “Non-Compensated Individual Hobbyist Developer” under this pledge, provided Your activities related to the creation of Your Original Work are performed during Your free time and outside the scope of Your employment. The Microsoft Patents subject to this pledge are all patents issued world-wide to the extent they are owned or controlled by Microsoft or its majority owned subsidiaries. For additional information on obtaining rights under Microsoft patents to contribute Your Original Work to an open source project, please see Microsoft’s Patent Pledge for Hobbyist Contributors.

Microsoft reserves the right to terminate and revoke this pledge to You, as of the date granted, if You or an entity that You control asserts a patent infringement claim against a Microsoft product, service or technology.

Reservation of Rights

Microsoft further reserves the right to prospectively update and revise the terms of this pledge, for example to accommodate applicable laws, rules, orders or regulations. The rights provided under this pledge are personal to You and are not for the benefit of others. All rights not expressly granted in this pledge are reserved by Microsoft.