Questions about my idea (for gsoc)

Valdis Kl=?utf-8?Q?=c4=93?=tnieks valdis.kletnieks at
Mon Apr 1 15:49:40 EDT 2019

On Mon, 01 Apr 2019 18:19:12 +0200, Andrea Laisa said:

> My idea is to write a Linux driver for a proprietary network protocol 
> used by the outdoor Gemtek antennas(which are essentially a LTE modem) 

This may be a legal mine field.  To create a *usable* Linux driver, you'll need
to have one that's free of licensing restrictions.  If Gemtek claims one or
more patents on the protocol, you may be unable to implement the protocol
without dealing with the licensing issues.

And I'm reasonably sure that Gemtek won't be too interested in helping you
write the driver, because its existence would cut into their sales of access points.

Note that this is *different* than the question of reverse engineering hardware
or software for interoperability. Patents cover any use whatsoever of the patented
intellectual property, and if you reverse engineer and then implement, you
can't claim accidental infringement (which happens a lot, especially if the
patent ofice is lax on enforcing the "non-obvious" requirement) and you're
squarely in willful infringement territory, which in the US can get you hit
with triple damages...

(Note - I am not a laywer, just somebody who reads enough about intellectual
property law to know that anytime you see "proprietary", you are *guaranteed*
to hit some sort of intellectual property law issue. 

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