JanRain Announces Non-Assertion Covenant for OpenID

JanRain would like to officially announce it is issuing a “non-assertion covenant,” promising that JanRain, Inc. will not enforce patents against developers implementing OpenID technology. This follows similar announcements from Sun and Verisign and is a positive step forward for the OpenID community at large.

In plain terms this announcement means that JanRain will not impose licensing terms, conditions, or fees for the use of any patents held by JanRain related to OpenID V1.1, OpenID Simple Registration V1.0 or Yadis Discovery Protocol V1.0. Like Sun and Verisign, the only condition is that developers refrain from asserting their own (or others’) patents against any other OpenID implementation developer. If you are an OpenID developer you do not need to do anything in order to get this assurance; no licenses need to be applied for, in fact don’t even think about licensing. All that needs to be done is for an OpenID developer to refrain from attempting to enforce their own (or others’) patents against any developer implementing OpenID.

Read on for the official legalese…

JanRain OpenID 1.1 Non-Assertion Covenant

JanRain, Inc. irrevocably covenants that, subject solely to the conditions described below, it will not assert any of its U.S. or foreign patents, having claims necessary for the implementation of the OpenID Specifications listed below, against that portion of a product that implements the covered specifications listed below (OpenID 1.1 Implementation).

Conditions: this covenant shall not apply with respect to:

  1. any individual, corporation or other entity that asserts or threatens at any time to enforce its own or any other party’s U.S. or foreign patents against any OpenID 1.1 Implementation; or
  2. for implementations that are not required by the listed Specifications or can be implemented by an alternative design not covered by JanRain’s patents and still be in conformance with the Specifications.

This statement is not an assurance either:

  1. that any of JanRain’s issued patents cover an OpenID 1.1 Implementation or are enforceable; or
  2. that an OpenID 1.1 Implementation would not infringe patents or other intellectual property rights of any third party.

No other rights except those expressly stated in this Non-Assertion Covenant shall be deemed granted, waived, or received by implication, or estoppel, or otherwise.

Specifications Covered:

OpenID Authentication V1.1

OpenID Simple Registration Extension V1.0

Yadis Discovery Protocol V1.0

If you have any questions about OpenID or this announcement please visit us in the OpenID Channel On Pibb:

~Kevin Fox