From "http://golang.org/PATENTS":

Additional IP Rights Grant (Patents)

"This implementation" means the copyrightable works distributed by Google as part of the Go project.

Google hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, transfer and otherwise run, modify and propagate the contents of this implementation of Go, where such license applies only to those patent claims, both currently owned or controlled by Google and acquired in the future, licensable by Google that are necessarily infringed by this implementation of Go. This grant does not include claims that would be infringed only as a consequence of further modification of this implementation. If you or your agent or exclusive licensee institute or order or agree to the institution of patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that this implementation of Go or any code incorporated within this implementation of Go constitutes direct or contributory patentinfringement, or inducement of patent infringement, then any patent rights granted to you under this License for this implementation of Go shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.

Are you allowed to reimplement the Go programming language by Google under this license?


As a layman, I read the document to grant rights to modify (and etc.) this implementation. I don't see this document as saying anything about anything that isn't this implementation.

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  • I asked this question on the golang mailing list and they says this isn't a problem at all (since there is no such patent, the grant is to alleviate anxiety of companies). – ThePiercingPrince Jul 15 '13 at 0:54
  • @LinuxDistance - If the people making that statement are employees of Google, then the fact that they are making that statement can be used as a legal defence if (hypothetically) Google sued over (hypothetical) patents related to Go. – Stephen C Jul 23 '13 at 14:07

It's likely going to depend on exactly what you want to reimplement and how.

Assuming you're going to attempt a 'clean room' implementation of the language using only the API documentation, the most notable recent example actually comes from Google themselves when they reimplemented the Java APIs for Android/Dalvik: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_v._Google

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