Are you willing to release some sort of board using the EOMA standard under an open hardware licence (e.g. CERN's or TAPR's) that gives legal protection to people making (open) derivative products?
While I can understand why you would like to keep control of the standard with patents, that approach may make the EOMA standard unusable for open hardware projects.
i'm glad you said "may", because i would have to contradict you, and i don't like doing that. we thought this through: the patents will come with an automatic royalty-free grant for any product that's FSF-Endorseable, written in stone into the papers associated publicly with the patent. yes, i'm keenly aware that there aren't that many FSF-Endorsed products: it's something i want to encourage.
If not, using the EOMA standard in my projects isn't worth living in fear of a lawsuit, and I can't in good conscience pass them on to other people with this hidden risk.
it's not hidden: i've mentioned it a number of times. actually, every time this issue comes up i've answered it, that there's been a plan in place even as the patents were being conceived. i really *am* a free software advocate, not a free software band-wagon-jumper.
If you'd like to make money off of people making money using your standard for closed hardware I have no issue with that. If you are worried about compatibility and hardware damage, however, some sort of (copyrighted) certification logo may be much friendlier to open source community.
well... we'll have to look at that as-and-when it happens. if a product's scope is small, i honestly don't think we'll be particularly concerned. and, also, remember: the CPU Cards are where we'll most likely find that people are having to buy these off-the-shelf from mass-volume manufacturers. it's mainly the mass-volume manufacturers that we're concerned about. a few engineers developing alpha-grade hardware and selling 100 to 1,000 units, knowing full well that they and their clients are taking a risk plugging a card into a board? yeahh, i'm not so worried.
but, a competitor company that's making a million units a week and they're incompatible and short-circuit existing customer's products??? that's bad.
An example of this kind of scheme is the USB standard; if you don't see the USB logo on a piece of hardware you know that you are taking a risk by plugging it into your computer. This has prevented catastrophes on the consumer side, but still allowed the open hardware community to experiment and share freely with each other and the world. While you could argue that allowing people to distribute non-compliant hardware risks fires and other safety problems, this hasn't really been a significant issue with USB.
well, that's because USB devices and USB chips come with built-in protection. here it's a different matter. if someone badly or even *deliberately* designs a card which is non-interoperable, and its use shorts out the power lines to ground, there's no over-voltage protection and chances are it'll damage something.
so i know what you mean, and chances are that we'll have to review things on a case-by-case basis and be encouraging to open hardware designers (i want them to succeed!), but we cannot risk letting it get into a free-for-all - it's simply too dangerous, and it would be irresponsible of us. remember, there's something called an "estoppel defense". if we "turn a blind eye" to an "open hardware" platform, and it gets copied and turns into a million-a-month product, and it turns out to have a hardware flaw, what then? the million-a-month company could claim "well you didn't contact the small company when they were doing 100 a month, so we don't have to pay either".
it's a tough one - but the idea is to use the patents to protect the *whole* EOMA community, *not* as a means to stifle innovation as they're presently used. please remember: i'm a free software advocate. i'm working with and from within the system; i'm not looking for ways to *exploit* the free software community, i'm looking for ways to make them relevant!