[ros-users] ROS 2.0 Strategy review

Linas Vepstas linasvepstas at gmail.com
Sat Sep 26 23:48:50 UTC 2015

There are at least half-a-dozen patents on DDS held by RTI, as listed here:

Two "big ones" seems to be http://www.google.com/patents/US8150988
http://www.google.com/patents/US8671135; one dates back to 2001-2002.

A casual google search locates another, not from RTI:

-- Linas

On Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 6:27 PM, Jon Binney <jon.binney at gmail.com> wrote:

> Aaron,
> There was a fairly long discussion of the RTI license in particular on the
> ROS-NG mailing list:
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/ros-sig-ng-ros/license/ros-sig-ng-ros/j050JkfEtPk/jmZg5pYGdz8J
> Brian does a good job of summing up the discussion in the last email in
> the thread. There is also some discussion of the licenses of various DDS
> implementations in http://design.ros2.org/articles/ros_on_dds.html . The
> license section of that article could probably use an update since it was
> written before the mailing list discussion. For example, it would be useful
> to write down the current thinking on what types of licenses would be
> acceptable for the default DDS implentation for ROS2.
> In my reading of the DDS license, I interpreted "OMG shall not be
> responsible for identifying patents for which a license may require use of
> an invention covered by patent rights..." to be pretty reasonable
> boilerplate. I can't imagine, for example, that willow garage would have
> wanted to be held responsible by all ROS users if it had turned out that
> some part of the TCPROS design was covered by some random company's patent
> claim.
> You have pointed out something I hadn't realized, though, which is that it
> is probably worth documenting the patent and copyright implications of the
> DDS/RTPS specifications themselves. Perhaps a section on that could be
> added to http://design.ros2.org/articles/ros_on_dds.html ?
> Jon
> On Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 3:21 PM, Aaron Schiffman via ros-users <
> ros-users at lists.ros.org> wrote:
>> Hi Linus,
>> I don't recall specifics, nor do I know the dev path osrf choose. I do
>> recall ROS 2 DDS implementation was going to be from rti.com, and rti
>> was going to provide it to ROS free of charge.
>> RTI says on their website they control 70% of the DDS market, and over a
>> trillion dollars in critical systems rely on Context DDS, and the statement
>> in the omg dds 1.2 spec states:
>> The attention  of  adopters is directed to the  possibility  that
>>  compliance  with or adoption  of OMG specifications may require  use  of
>> an  invention covered  by patent  rights. OMG  shall  not  be  responsible
>>  for identifying patents  for which a  license may  be required  by any
>>  OMG specification,  or for conducting  legal  inquiries into  the  legal
>> validity  or scope of  those patents  that are brought to  its attention.
>> OMG  specifications are  prospective and advisory  only. Prospective users
>>  are responsible  for  protecting themselves against liability for
>> infringement  of patents.
>> Search Google patents and you will find some patents submitted explicitly
>> for DDS related techs, and I can only assume some of the patents not
>> mentioning DDS cover facets of DDS.
>> I can only speculate on patents at this point, but regardless rti owns
>> their software. So they definitely own some DDS related ip.
>> Thanks,
>> Aaron
>> Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
>> <https://overview.mail.yahoo.com/mobile/?.src=Android>
>> ------------------------------
>> *From*:"Linas Vepstas" <linasvepstas at gmail.com>
>> *Date*:Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 10:08 AM
>> *Subject*:Re: [ros-users] ROS 2.0 Strategy review
>> Hi Aaron,
>> Can you clarify? Do you mean "IP of DDS", or IP of something else?  Are
>> DDS algos patented?  There used to be talk of zero-mq-based ROS, but that
>> seems to have disappeared from the table.
>> My knee-jerk reaction is to be a bit suspicious of OMG-created
>> technologies; they sound great at first, but are often over-wrought (e.g.
>> corba).  I'd never even heard a whisper about DDS before yesterday; I'm
>> nervous about adopting a technology that has not yet gained any acceptance
>> at all in the open-source community.  So, for example, whatever one's
>> opinion of zmq might be, positive or negative, its a "known thing"; many
>> people have used it, there is developer experience, a track record.
>> There's no such track record for DDS -- the proprietary world seems to be
>> the primary consumer of the thing, and their experience with it is secret,
>> and not shared. We don't actually know how well it works (although I admit
>> it sounds really great, based on the wikipedia article).
>> Anyway: please clarify: IP of what? And who "owns" that IP, who has
>> rights to it?
>> -- Linas.
>> On Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 11:03 AM, Aaron Schiffman via ros-users <
>> ros-users at lists.ros.org> wrote:
>>> This doesn't feel right sharing my some of my thoughts I held back since
>>> Roscon 2014 about ROS 2.0, but here goes:
>>> The ip ownership and patent of the underlying ROS 2.0 distributed udp
>>> protocol are of concern as a third party protocol implementor. Yes, ROS.org
>>> or OSRF may have explicit legal permission to use said protocol, but it is
>>> not truly an open/free platform when the public is at the mercy of the IP
>>> owner, unless the entire platform is contractually opened up and made free.
>>> As a ROS protocol implementor Ive personally held off on implementing
>>> ROS 2.0 protocols, while waiting to see how it pans out. I am still of the
>>> belief that the UDPROS protocol with enhancements can do everything the new
>>> protocol can do, but better. That really doesn't matter now though.
>>> I appreciate that osrf took the focus from protocols and put their
>>> limited resources to work on tools. In an r&d organization that would be
>>> the path I would expect to be the most rewarding, except that I've grown to
>>> appreciate think of ROS as a rock that the open robotics universe revolves
>>> around. Like I think of Linux, as an open operating system, except that ROS
>>> is more an open set of design frameworks like tcpip is a standard protocol
>>> with many implementors.
>>> Wish I could be there in Hamburg with you all! The birds of a feather
>>> meetings, and the couple hours socializing with drinks were the most
>>> influential on my development direction this past year. Watching roscon on
>>> YouTube just will not be the same.
>>> I am so stoked about this upcoming year in Robotics I can hardly contain
>>> myself (probably a good reason for me to not be there in October:)
>>> God bless Roscon 2015 in Hamburg!
>>> Aaron
>>> Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
>>> <https://overview.mail.yahoo.com/mobile/?.src=Android>
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> ros-users at lists.ros.org
>>> http://lists.ros.org/mailman/listinfo/ros-users
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