The Open Invention Network is a shared defensive patent pool that was formed in 2015 to protect Linux and its associated open source projects. OIN already has several industry leaders including Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Red Hat, Sony, SUSE, and Toyota as its members. Any company, project or developer that is working on Linux, GNU, Android or any other Linux-related software is can join OIN to get access to thousands of patents free of charge or royalties.
Open Invention Network today announced that Microsoft has become a member of the OIN community. Microsoft is bringing a valuable and deep portfolio of over 60,000 issued patents to OIN for the benefit of Linux and other open source technologies.
“Open source development continues to expand into new products and markets to create unrivaled levels of innovation. Through its participation in OIN, Microsoft is explicitly acknowledging the importance of open source software to its future growth,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “Microsoft’s participation in OIN adds to our strong community, which through its breadth and depth has reduced patent risk in core technologies, and unequivocally signals for all companies who are using OSS but have yet to join OIN that the litmus test for authentic behavior in the OSS community includes OIN participation.”
“Microsoft sees open source as a key innovation engine, and for the past several years we have increased our involvement in, and contributions to, the open source community,” said Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President and Chief IP Counsel, Microsoft. “We believe the protection OIN offers the open source community helps increase global contributions to and adoption of open source technologies. We are honored to stand with OIN as an active participant in its program to protect against patent aggression in core Linux and other important OSS technologies.”