In case you’ve been under a rock for the last decade, you might not know that today’s technology wars aren’t over who has the best prices, the most features, or the greatest quality. No, in 2011, instead of working on innovating, tech. giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle, are now wasting their resources on intellectual property (IP) lawsuits. So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that networking powerhouse Cisco and social networking force Twitter, is joining the Linux patent protection group, the Open Invention Network (OIN).
The OIN was formed in 2005 by IBM, Sony, Philips N.V. and Linux distributors Red Hat Inc. and Novell. Then, as now, the group was created to defend Linux from patent trolls and other attacks from patent holders. It tries to do this with its own patents which are then available royalty-free to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against Linux. While it hasn’t been done, these patents could also, in theory, be used by the OIN, or an OIN member, against a hostile company in a patent war.