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Facebook: Y U NO Grant Patent?

React Native goes open source, kills the buzz with Patent License Grant

Natali Vlatko
Mobile image via Shutterstock

Facebook has announced the open-sourcing of its framework for building native apps, React Native. The news broke at the recent F8 Developer Conference, but also comes with a Patent License Grant that could potentially trip you up.

React Native is officially open source, with Facebook releasing React Native for iOS on GitHub. Facebook dropped the news at the F8 Developer Conference in San Fransisco, while programmer Tom Occhino elaborated online in an official statement.

After the launch of React Native earlier this year, Occhino focused on Facebook’s mission in order to back up the decision to go open source, saying that they want to make the world “more open and connected, and we want to actively contribute to that mission via open source”.

SEE ALSO: Facebook announces React Native

For the uninitiated, React Native is Facebook’s version of its React JavaScript framework for building native mobile applications. While React Native for iOS is out, Android support is also said to be coming soon.

The Patent License boogeyman

While the open source world feels all warm and fuzzy, something omitted from the announcement was coverage of the licensing in regards to patents, which obviously comes as no surprise. Christopher Chedeau of Facebook updated it recently, noting the following:

The license… will terminate… for anyone that [claims] infringement of any patent… by Facebook… whether or not such claim is related to the Software.

The license… will terminate… for anyone that [claims] infringement of any patent… by any party if such claim arises… from any software, product or service of Facebook.

The license… will terminate… for anyone that [claims] infringement of any patent… by any party relating to the Software.

The license… will terminate… for anyone that [claims] that any right in any patent claim of Facebook is invalid or unenforceable.

In this case, “Software” means the React Native software distributed by Facebook, and the above clause should be understood by all developers who are choosing to dig into the code. However, Redditor arendjr doesn’t think it’s too much to be concerned about:

The team at Facebook have admitted that there are probably many things that are either broken or not implemented yet with regard to the release. The community has been invited to contribute and give feedback, which will hopefully have a positive impact on the project’s latter incarnations.

However, reactions are still mixed, with Reddit acting as the unofficial rant receptacle for now.

Author
Natali Vlatko
An Australian who calls Berlin home, via a two year love affair with Singapore. Natali was an Editorial Assistant for JAXenter.com (S&S Media Group).

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