Rootstock’s Sergio Lerner is really tipping his hand. His worries are alleviated if Rookstock simply joins the DPL. I guess Rootstock wants to make aggressive use of patents.

Sergio is pitching a fit about Blockstream's patent on the mailing list .

The patent system is a race system; whoever is first to seek a patent often obtains the patent and can enforce it however he or she chooses. Accordingly, if a person has a patentable idea, if he doesn't patent the idea, someone else could and then enjoin the original inventor from using his own idea. The best defense against this is to simply patent your ideas. If Blockstream does not patent their sidechains idea, someone else can. Sergio offers absolutely no solution to this problem.

Blockstream has made it clear that they do not like the patent system, but just because they don't agree with the system does not mean that they are insulated from the system. There is a solution for companies in their position: patent your innovations, but take measures to allow anyone to use them, so long as that entity agrees to the same terms with regard to their patents. This is called the Defensive Patent License (DPL). Anyone who agrees to the terms of the DPL can freely use the patents of anyone else who agrees to the terms of the DPL. It's a clever system for creating a new set of rules between those who are willing to share. Without such a program, anyone who agreed to openly share their patents would be at a huge disadvantage, because their competitors would use the benevolents' patents freely, but then would sue the benevolents' for using their patents. For someone aggressive like that, the benevolent patent holder would have to assert their rights or be punished monetarily. By having a DPL, the benevolent can be benevolent with others who are likewise benevolent, and be assertive against those who are not.

What Sergio is showing is that Rootstock is not willing to be benevolent with its patentable ideas. If Rootstock is not going to have patents, then there is no problem agreeing to the DPL. If Rootstock is willing to share its patents, then there is no reason not to sign on to the DPL. The only reason Rootstock should have a problem is if they plan to have patents that they may wish to assert against other benevolent patent holders. If Rootstock joined the DPL, they could still assert their patents against companies that were not a part of the DPL.

There is a reason Blockstream is being praised by the EFF. They are truly being a leader in this movement of innovative benevolence. Rootstock must not want to join, and accordingly, they will have to ask Blockstream for permission to use its patents. I don't feel sorry for them though. All they have to do is also join the DPL and their problem is solved. But if they do this, they won't be able to aggressively enforce patents against other DPL members (Blockstream), and that is his real problem. He is resorting to tenuous arguments to say it is bad, but nothing he asserts is nearly as bad as a non-DPL member getting the same patent and asserting it, which WILL happen otherwise.

To learn more about the Defensive Patent License, look here.

submitted by /u/Lejitz
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