Patent Grant

Mark Wielaard mark at
Tue Nov 22 19:23:07 UTC 2011

On Mon, 2011-11-21 at 12:34 +0000, Jonathan Tripathy wrote:
> I'm aware that OpenJDK is released under the GPLv2, which has an 
> implicit patent grant. However I'm curious about the explicit patent 
> grant given by Oracle when an implementation passed the TCK test.
> I'm aware that OpenJDK has passed the Community TCK tests (Which doesn't 
> have any field of use clauses). Does this mean that an explicit patent 
> grant is given to OpenJDK?
> [...]
> OpenJDK is obviously Sun's code, so I'm a little confused here. Does 
> this mean the patent grant doesn't apply? Or maybe the GPLv2 is the 
> "appropriate and separate license".

Yes, OpenJDK is distributed under the GPL, and that is an appropriate
and separate license from Sun/Oracle. So you get both patent grants. But
through the GPL you get a license from all contributors, not just
Oracle. The GPL patent grant also isn't tied to passing any tests,
standards, field of use restrictions or creating derivatives. Basically
the GPL patent shield is a superset of what you would be granted through
that TCK test passing grant not just from Oracle through the JCP, but
from all participants to OpenJDK. See also:

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