Asian Legal Network (ALN)

Open Invention Network teamed with Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Linux Foundation to launch the Asian Legal Network to provide a leading forum for sharing knowledge and best practices regarding Free Software legal affairs, particularly those relevant to market participants in Asia.

Cross License

A cross-licensing agreement is a contract between two or more parties where each party grants rights to their Intellectual Property to the other parties.


First-to-Invent implies the date of conception when the inventor first conceived of the invention in its complete form. The date of actual reduction to practice is when the inventor built a working model or a prototype. The date of constructive reduction to practice is when the inventor filed a patent application.

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)

Free and open-source software is software that can be classified as both free software and open-source software.

Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)

Free Software Foundation Europe is a charity that empowers users to control technology. Free Software gives everybody the rights to use, understand, adapt and share software. These rights help support other fundamental rights like freedom of speech, freedom of press and privacy.

GNU General Public License

The GNU General Public License is a widely used free software license that guarantees end users the freedom to run, study, share, and modify the software.

GP Cooperation Commitment

The GPL Cooperation Commitment is a statement by GPLv2 and LGPLv2.x copyright holders and other supporters that gives licensees a fair chance to correct violations before their licenses are terminated.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

Information and Communications Technology is a term for information technology (IT) that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals) and computers, as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage and audiovisual systems that enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.

Intellectual Property (IP)

Intellectual Property (IP) is a legal category of property which includes intangible creations of the human intellect. Many types of IP exists, and some countries recognize more than others. The most common types of IP include copyrights, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.

License on Transfer (LOT) Network

The License On Transfer (LOT) Network is a nonprofit community of companies created in 2014 to combat Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs). Start-up and small companies are eligible for free membership, but most companies pay a membership fee.

Non-Practicing Entities (NPE)

A Non–Practicing Entity is someone who holds a patent for a product or process but has no intentions of developing it. A patent is a government-issued license that gives an inventor exclusive rights to the manufacture, use or sale of his invention for a specified time period.

Patent Act of 1952

The U.S. Patent Act of 1952 clarified and simplified existing U.S. patent law. It also effected substantive changes, including the codification of the requirement for non-obviousness and the judicial doctrine of contributory infringement. As amended, it is codified in Title 35 of the United States Code.

Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs)

See patent trolls.

Patent Non-Aggression

Patent Non–Aggression is a term used to describe defensive strategies that protect us against the aggressive use of patents.

Patent Troll

In international law and business, patent trolling — or patent hoarding  — is a term applied to a person or company that attempts to enforce patent rights against accused infringers far beyond the patent’s actual value or contribution to the prior art, often through hardball legal tactics.

Royalty-Free License

An entity provided a Royalty-Free License to specific Intellectual Property (IP) rights may use the IP without the need to pay royalties or license fees.

Standards Essential Patents (SEP)

Standard Essential Patents are patents that are unavoidable for the implementation of a standardized technology.

The Leahy–Smith American Invents Act (AIA)

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act is a United States federal statute passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. The law represents the most significant legislative change to the U.S. patent system since the Patent Act of 1952 and closely resembles previously proposed legislation in the Senate with the Patent Reform Act of 2009.

Named for its lead sponsors, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–VT) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R–TX), the Act switches the U.S. patent system from a “first to invent” to a “first inventor to file” system, eliminates interference proceedings and develops post-grant opposition. Its central provisions went into effect on September 16, 2012 and on March 16, 2013.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board conducts trials, including inter partes, post-grant, and covered business method patent reviews and derivation proceedings, hears appeals from adverse examiner decisions in patent applications and reexamination proceedings, and renders decisions in interferences.

U.S. Patent System

Under United States law, a patent is a right granted to the inventor of a (1) process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, (2) that is new, useful and non-obvious. A patent is the right to exclude others, for a limited time (usually, 20 years) from profiting off a patented technology without the consent of the patent-holder. Specifically, it is the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, importing, inducing others to infringe and/or offering a product specially adapted for practice of the patent.

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the legislative branch “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The USPTO registers trademarks based on the commerce clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). Under this system of protection, American industry has flourished.