Home Open Source Red Hat broadens patent pledge to most open-source software

Red Hat, the world's biggest open source company, has expanded its commitment on patents, which had originally been not to enforce its patents against free and open source software.

In a statement, the company said its original Patent Promise had stated that its patent portfolio was intended to to discourage patent aggression against free and open source software.

Under the expanded policy, the zone of non-enforcement has been expanded and now applies to "all of Red Hat’s patents, and all software licensed under well-recognised open source licences".

The original Patent Promise was issued in 2002. The new policy was said to be "substantially clearer and broader than its predecessor".

"While the old Promise covered approximately 35% of open source software, the new version will cover more than 99%".

Michael Cunningham, executive vice-president and general counsel, Red Hat, said: "Red Hat’s Patent Promise now covers the lion’s share of open source code and continues to cover all of our patents.

"We encourage others to make commitments like these. The innovation machine represented by the open source community is an enormous positive force for society.

"Our patent promise – we believe the broadest in the industry – is intended to support and nurture that community and force.”

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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