Anyone can join COPA, regardless whether you have patents, by signing the COPA Membership Agreement.
The COPA Membership Agreement is entered into by COPA members to address the threat of patents being used to stifle innovation and growth in the crypto community. The agreement addresses two major objectives:
Members agree to never assert their foundational crypto patents offensively against anyone, except under the following limited set of situations: (1) in self defense (if the member gets sued by a patent aggressor and the member wants to use its patents defensively against such an aggressor); (2) in defense of the community (if anyone else in the crypto community is attacked by a patent aggressor and the member wants to use its patents against such an aggressor); or (3) in defense against an impersonator who causes harm to the member’s customers (e.g., a copycat scammer of the member’s products). Members accomplish this by granting a non-exclusive and perpetual license to their foundational crypto patents, subject to the exceptions above.
Shared Patent Library
Members agree to contribute their crypto-technology patents to a “shared patent library” so that another member that is subject to a patent lawsuit can request to use one or more of those crypto-technology patents defensively against the patent aggressor. The member seeking to use a crypto-technology patent from the shared patent library will make a request to the owner of the patent, who must not unreasonably deny the request. The members will then negotiate specific terms for granting the requesting member the necessary rights. In some circumstances, the members may decide to involve COPA, as a neutral party that is able to act in the members’ collective interests, in the rights transfer process.
How to Join
Please send an email to membership at open-patent dot org, indicating your company or affiliation, and your role.