GSM - GSM Open-source Software - Issues With Patents and Open Source

Issues With Patents and Open Source

Patents remain a problem for any open-source GSM implementation, because it is not possible for GNU or any other free software distributor to guarantee immunity from all lawsuits by the patent holders against the users. Furthermore new features are being added to the standard all the time which means they have patent protection for a number of years.

The original GSM implementations from 1991 may now be entirely free of patent encumbrances, however patent freedom is not certain due to the US "first to invent" system that was in place until 2012. The "first to invent" system, coupled with "patent term adjustment" can extend the life of a US patent far beyond 20 years from its priority date. It is unclear at this time whether OpenBTS will be able to implement features of that initial specification without limit. However, as patents subsequently expire, those features can be added into the open source version. As of 2011, there have been no law suits against users of OpenBTS over GSM use.

Read more about this topic:  GSM, GSM Open-source Software

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