Yes, I have been familiarizing myself with the ROS2 architecture and the DDS a few months. The DDS implementations themselves can be proprietary or open source (such as the fastRTPS), but what is not clear to me are the patents. In the DDS specification it says:
“The attention of adopters is directed to the possibility that compliance with or adoption of OMG specifications may require useof an invention covered by patent rights. OMG shall not be responsible for identifying patents for which a license may be required by any OMG specification, or for conducting legal inquiries into the legal validity or scope of those patents that arebrought to its attention. OMG specifications are prospective and advisory only. Prospective users are responsible for protecting themselves against liability for infringement of patents.”
And if we look at google pants for RTI, there are many patents that seem to be quite crucial to the DDS and RTPS.
So what I am wondering is that is it legally speaking safe to rely on ROS2 (and DDS behind it) so that the businesses can build on it? Of course the licensing of software projects is a major thing, but the patents can be used for legal claims even if the infringing software was written completely from scratch.
So for an example, say that a company A that wants to implement its own DDS and RTPS. Then they would go on and sell this implementation or use it in their own product in the market.
Is there a chance then that a company B that owns a patent for a piece of DDS can claim infringement if the company A happens to implement their DDS (accidentally or not) in a manner that someone might think it is similar enough to the patented method?
Because ROS2 is built on DDS, this is an important matter for commercial usage, at least in my opinion. I am very interested in ROS2 and will keep using it, but I am not sure how much I can promote it to industry as a commercially fit middleware solution even if it was technically flawless.