Officially Patent Pending
Hey folks, hope you have had a great weekend! I mostly want to talk about a couple of big picture Mugsy business items today. I'm interested in feedback, especially on my second subject.
Argyle Labs was awarded a provisional patent for Mugsy's pour over mechanism. There is still a lot more work to get the full patent, but at this point we are protected for a year from our filing date. This provisional patent only covers the pour over mechanism, none of the software or other designs are involved.
This patent process has been a bit of a dilemma for me. I want everyone out there to be able to make, print and hack our pour over mechanism. But I'm not ok with Starbucks, Keurig or other massive companies coming in and making a bunch of money off of it while squashing me like a bug. Some of these companies have already attempted to gain access to Mugsy in some extremely slimy ways.
So my thinking is this- the runtime/software and the cad files are completely free and open source for anyone to use how ever they want, commercial or otherwise. The pour over mechanism is free and open for non-commercial use, as well as commercial use where the the company is making less than $250k. If a company is making over $250k using the mechanism, they reach out and I grant them an extended license. If a giant mega corp like Starbucks hits me up for an extended license, I tell them pay up or go pound salt.
None of this has been decided yet and there is a lot more thinking and yapping to do on the subject. I think this is a good first step compromise though, it keeps all of our software completely open source as defined by the Open Source Initiative while making sure any very large company would have to work with us if they wanted to make a 1 to 1 copy of Mugsy's pour over mechanism.
I know some of you will disagree with me on this, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on my current line of thinking.
Which brings us to the next open source related question, and the most important one at that!
Which Open Source License?
There are lots of options when it comes to Open Source Licenses for software. We still have to go through our existing code base and verify licensing on any integrated software as it may impact which license we eventually choose.
Here are some of the most common and well regarded licenses(pic from opensource.org):
I often get asked what actually makes Mugsy better than other coffee machines and it can turn into a long conversation. It took a while to find the time, but I finally made a new page that covers the answer in a simple non-bs way.
You can check it out here: heymugsy.com/whymugsy
Next time someone asks you why you are so excited for Mugsy, just send them to heymugsy.com/whymugsy.
Ok, thats all for now. Next scheduled update will be Wednesday or Thursday. I will share any important news that comes up before then though. I will be away from my desk for the rest of the night, so might not reply to any new comments until tomorrow.