I'm not a lawyer so I won't try to paraphrase the license -- I actually think the wording is pretty simple already -- but to be clear, only the patent grant might terminate if you were to sue Facebook; the BSD license that the code is provided under remains valid regardless.
The author's claim that Google and Microsoft employees are unable to use React is false. I know there are teams at both companies using React and React Native. (It is true that Google was not happy with an older version of the patent grant, but we updated it in response to their feedback.)
If you work for a software company and your company has patents then keep in mind that by using React you are giving Facebook a free license to your entire patent portfolio.
More info on weak vs strong retaliation clauses: http://www.rosenlaw.com/lj9.htm
That contradicts everything I've ever heard on the subject. Can you cite any legal precedent?
Now, there's a theory that looks like this: The BSD license gives you a license to use a project. If I release some code under a BSD license, but I also patent it, and you download it, start to use it, and I sue you, then you couldn't really use it, could you?
So some people have argued that the "use" part of the BSD license includes all the rights needed to actually use the project, including the right to use any patents the author may have. There are some counterarguments too of course.
However, no court has ever considered the question, and no rulings have been made in either direction. Some day, a court may decide that the BSD license includes an implcit grant...or not. We'll have to wait and see.
Now, a followup question is: What happens if a court decides the BSD license includes an implicit grant, but an explicit grant is also included? Some people think that the explicit grant might replace the implicit grant; others think that it might add to the implicit grant. And if the explicit grant is seen as replacing the implicit grant, and the explicit grant terminates in conditions where the BSD license does not, then the explicit grant actually weakens the BSD license. Alternatively, if the grant is additive (or no implicit grant exists), then the explicit grant does not weaken the BSD license.
Petilon's position is right if: 1) A court rules that the BSD license contains an implicit grant and 2) Further rules that the explicit grant included in the React project replaces and extinguishes the implicit grant included in BSD license. So far neither step has occurred, but they might. In theory. :)
IANAL, but this could be seen as a needed protection and Facebook playing it safe in the interest of both itself and its open source contributors, kind of saying "if you contribute to, use, or are involved in React, everyone has to play nice and mutually agree not to sue each other over software patents. If you do, you don't get to benefit."
Then again, you could take it the other way, and assume it could be used on the offensive. But I think there would be enough pressures against that type of use. Still, sure, consult a lawyer.
Edit: the last part seems to grant some pretty wide freedoms, protecting your right to use React even if Facebook sues you over a patent unrelated to React, so with that in there, I think it's making it abundantly clear that this clause is about protecting React from patent litigation. Seems solid.
That's narrow, clear and (IMO) sensible. This entire article is just pure misinformation.
"This is the reason why both Google and Microsoft employees are not allowed to use React.js in their work. " is that true ?
It's important to keep in mind that there are two different types of Intellectual Property in view here. Software licenses and patent licenses. Theoretically, you could use some software Y under the BSD license and have some third party X sue you because Y violates a patent (even though you didn't write Y and are only using it). Facebook is being generous IMO by saying both A) you can use our software and B) if we have patents that the software benefits from we also license those to you provided C) you do not sue us for patent violations, in which case we revoke B (but not A).
So, going back to the article, the license to use React would not be revoked and it has nothing to do with competing with React. It is possible that if you sued Facebook for patent infringement AND Facebook claimed that React benefited from it's patents, that Facebook could now sue you for patent infringement b/c you use React.
But, if you sue any big company for patent infringement, they are also going to look at their portfolio of patents to see what you might be infringing and will counter-sue. So, in that case, I don't feel like Facebook is really being contrary here. They are basically saying, "As long as you don't sue us for patent infringement, we promise not to sue you for any patent infringement related to our open source software (including React). By doing this, we are hoping you will take advantage of the software we have put out there in the OSS world and alleviate any patent fears you might have. However, if you choose to sue us for patent infringement, we revoke this promise, and are going to treat you just like any other Joe Schmo."
IMO, Facebook is going out of their way to make it possible for others to benefit from their OSS software by granting not only a generous software license but a related patent license as well. For the article to misconstrue this as a license revocation if you decide to "compete" with them is pretty disingenuous.
So basically if you have this awesome, let's say, middle out compression algorithm patent, and have an interface in react, then they can use your middle out without being sued? (Just trying to clarify what you are saying here..)
Your license to any patents which Faceboook may or may not have that cover elements of React will terminate. At that point, Facebook may choose to initiate a lawsuit against you over your infringement of whatever React patents (if any) they have.
So if you have (or are planning on obtaining) software patents, the React patent grant may not be very valuable. (Then again, Facebook may not have any patents actually covered by the grant, in which case it's not valuable to anyone.)
(1) Have patents / use a react alternative, such as vue (note this is annoying since there is no cross-platform native app version of vue )
(2) Don't have patents / protect your intellectual property in other ways (maybe by publishing a public whitepaper or something) / use React / Bust your ass since facebook can likely implement better and faster than any small team.