Re: @AC Here's the reality... its a scam in favor of Facebook.
"You do realize that if you lose the rights to use the patent, it means you lose the rights to use the code for which the patent was granted. Right?"
Well, wrong actually. A patent is not a license to use. The BSD part of the license grants you an irrevocable right to *use* the code, and within the bounds of copyright law modify and redistribute it. The +PATENTS part provides a mechanism by which you may be prevented from utilising the patent. Reusing someone else's freely released work is not infringing on their patent in any way, shape or form. (Although this is arguably debatable; most schools of thought assume a patent license to be implicit in the license as a whole. Facebook obviously disagree, but then this is software patents so it's all bullshit anyway)
You're not suddenly going to lose the right to use the code but you may well lose the right to do anything else with it - this is where Apache's Universal Donor principal comes in. What you might* lose is the ability to modify and re-ship certain parts of React's implementation without Facebook being able to sue you and only then when you're dealing with specific implementations of specific claims of granted patents.
This is very much a hypothetical risk. That asterisk up there? We're talking about software patents. A fucking ludicrous idea to start with, that's why not much of this is concrete and why Facebook's use of +PATENTS as a defensive measure is particularly insidious. Big companies can tolerate uncertainties. Small ones cannot.
Which is kind of the point. This is intended to give Facebook a stick with which to beat small patent trolls. Or small competitors. Or small anyones. Decoupling an app from React is potentially a huge investment and Facebook know it. Abusing FOSS like that is very much Not Ok.