Thursday, 11 October 2018 07:59

Microsoft joins Open Invention Network, will use patents to protect Linux Featured

Microsoft joins Open Invention Network, will use patents to protect Linux Pixabay

Microsoft has announced it is joining the Open Invention Network, a group that aims to protect Linux and open source programs from patent risk.

In 2016, the company said that it owned more than 59,000 US and international patents and had more than 36,000 patent applications pending.

OIN was founded in 2005 by IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, and Sony and has about 2650 companies as its members. The group acquires patents and then licenses them without any royalty to its members.

The members, in turn, pledge not to use any patents they own against Linux and other open source programs.

Microsoft's corporate vice-president and deputy general counsel Erich Andersen said in a statement that many people would view the company's decision as surprising.

"It is no secret that there has been friction in the past between Microsoft and the open source community over the issue of patents," he said.

"For others who have followed our evolution, we hope this announcement will be viewed as the next logical step for a company that is listening to customers and developers and is firmly committed to Linux and other open source programs."

Andersen said the decision to join OIN was an indication of Microsoft’s patent practice going hand in hand with its company’s views on Linux and open source.

The company's former chief executive Steve Ballmer once described Linux as a cancer.

Said Andersen: "We began this journey over two years ago through programs like Azure IP Advantage, which extended Microsoft’s indemnification pledge to open source software powering Azure services.

"We doubled down on this new approach when we stood with Red Hat and others to apply GPLv3 'cure' principles to GPLv2 code, and when we recently joined the LOT Network, an organisation dedicated to addressing patent abuse by companies in the business of assertion."

He said the company would now be be able to do much more to help protect Linux and other important open source projects from patent assertions.

"We bring a valuable and deep portfolio of over 60,000 issued patents to OIN. We also hope that our decision to join will attract many other companies to OIN, making the licence network even stronger for the benefit of the open source community."


As part of our Lead Machine Methodology we will help you get more leads, more customers and more business. Let us help you develop your digital marketing campaign

Digital Marketing is ideal in these tough times and it can replace face to face marketing with person to person marketing via the phone conference calls and webinars

Significant opportunity pipelines can be developed and continually topped up with the help of Digital Marketing so that deals can be made and deals can be closed

- Newsletter adverts in dynamic GIF slideshow formats

- News site adverts from small to large sizes also as dynamic GIF slideshow formats

- Guest Editorial - get your message out there and put your CEO in the spotlight

- Promotional News and Content - displayed on the homepage and all pages

- Leverage our proven event promotion methodology - The Lead Machine gets you leads

Contact Andrew our digital campaign designer on 0412 390 000 or via email



Security requirements such as confidentiality, integrity and authentication have become mandatory in most industries.

Data encryption methods previously used only by military and intelligence services have become common practice in all data transfer networks across all platforms, in all industries where information is sensitive and vital (financial and government institutions, critical infrastructure, data centres, and service providers).

Get the full details on Layer-1 encryption solutions straight from PacketLight’s optical networks experts.

This white paper titled, “When 1% of the Light Equals 100% of the Information” is a must read for anyone within the fiber optics, cybersecurity or related industry sectors.

To access click Download here.


Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came 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.



Recent Comments