Apple is indeed patenting Swift features

(Trevör Anne Denise) #63

Well, that would be unfortunate if Apple never answered. But, as some people said, we might need to be a little patient.

How much stronger the Swift community would be if there were no patents in the first place?

I'd see it more as a problem for the (not too far) future than as an issue that would already strongly affect Swift today. While patents were filled several years ago, it looks like it's only recently that people from the open source Swift community noticed it (at least, I don't remember ever seeing such concerns anywhere prior to those posts).

Anyway, back to the actual question of what should be done: as a Swift user, I'm more concerned about what people will be concretely allowed to do than just about the presence or absence of patents.
Again, this is my own, non professional, opinion on this matter, but, let's say I'm worried of not being able to do X because of a certain patent, and I receive a clear, legally binding, authorisation to do X, doesn't the presence or absence of the patent become irrelevant?

(Max Desiatov) #64

Absolutely, getting that authorisation would be great, but for now we have neither the authorisation itself nor a clear timeline when (if at all) that would happen. And until then people are discouraged from starting or continuing to develop any projects (including a few mentioned in this thread) related to alternative implementations of Swift due to the risk of patent infringement.

It's also worrying that there was no proactive communication about these patents. If Apple at the time of patent application issued a statement upfront and clearly said "we've applied for these patents because this and that could happen and here is the precedent and here's the best plan to avoid that" it would have been perceived in much better way.