For various reasons I'm looking at developing some web frontends for some of our software and after spending a while looking at the available libraries out there I settled on React.

Then I read the license and patent grant. To my inexpert eye it looks like you basically forfeit the right to challenge Facebook for any patent, not just one related to React. My company has lots of patents (even some for some of our software. I'm dubious how useful that is, but my boss likes to mention it every now again, especially in front of customers). The company certainly isn't a patent troll, but its a big engineering company and takes IP very seriously.

Am I reading the license correctly? Is the license an issue from a business/patent perspective?

I hear about Google and Microsoft using React and wonder: how? Surely this effectively grants Facebook rights to all their IP, or risks them canning projects that use it.

I'm going to have to get someone from legal to look at it at some point, and I want to be able to present an argument (if there is one) for it. I don't like being restricted by legal technicalities from using a great technology.

  • 2
    You'll have to decide if it's worth the risk of having to rip out React and replace it with something else, in the unlikely event you decide to sue Facebook for patent infringement. Only you and your lawyer can make that decision. – Robert Harvey Oct 18 '16 at 2:29
  • Yeah, I don't think lawyers work in "unlikelies". Personally, I think the risk is so low its not worth troubling about but I think the lawyers will think "risk" and pull the plug. – Joe Oct 18 '16 at 2:31
  • But then, apparently Google, Microsoft and Apple use React in some projects... And if it got past their lawyers maybe I have a chance. – Joe Oct 18 '16 at 2:32
  • Looks like a fairly standard Mutually Assured Destruction patent clause. Chances are that Facebook is using Microsoft patents under similar terms, so Microsoft isn't worried about React. – MSalters Oct 20 '16 at 23:42

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