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Linux patent defense group expands open-source protection

March 6th, 2012 · No Comments

The Open Invention Network (OIN) has significantly expanded and updated the Linux System technologies covered by its protective network of royalty-free cross-licenses. Over 700 new software packages–including popular packages such as Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM), Git, OpenJDK, and WebKit–will now receive coverage. In addition, coverage for over 1,000 existing software packages has been updated. Soon, the OIN will also expand its protection over Linux-related mobile operating systems such as Android, MeeGo, Tizen, and webOS.

Patents owned by Open Invention Network are available royalty-free to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the OIN’s broad Linux Definitions. The Open Invention Network license Is designed to spread patent protection among its members. This includes patent cross-licenses and releases from claims of patent infringement among its licensees. This, in turn, encourages collaboration between Linux companies. These patents could also be used to defend Linux vendors and developers from anti-Linux companies’ legal attacks.

The OIN was formed in 2005 by IBM, Sony, Philips, Red Hat, and Novell . Since then this Linux intellectual property (IP) defense group has grown by leaps and bounds. Today it has more than 360 members. Two of the most recent companies to join in OIN’s defense of Linux’s IP are Cisco and Twitter.

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Tags: Business · Development · Legal · Linux · Management · Microsoft · Open Source · Operating System