Microsoft announced that it joined hands with Open Invention Network (“OIN”) which is a community dedicated to protecting Linux and other open source software programs from patent risk. With this association, Microsoft believes that it will be able to do more than ever to help protect Linux and other important open source workloads from patent assertions.
Microsoft says that collaborative development through the open source process can accelerate innovation. Both the companies will demonstrate a commitment to open source software (OSS) and innovation through collaborative development. With more than 2,650 members, including numerous Fortune 500 enterprises, OIN is the largest patent non-aggression community and represents a core set of community values related to open source licensing, which has become the norm.
OIN’s community practices patent non-aggression in core open source technologies by cross-licensing Linux System patents to one another on a royalty-free basis. Patents owned by Open Invention Network are similarly licensed royalty-free to any organization that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System.
Erich Andersen Corporate Vice President, Deputy General Counsel said:
Joining OIN reflects Microsoft’s patent practice evolving in lock-step with the company’s views on Linux and open source more generally. 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 GPL v. 3 “cure” principles to GPL v. 2 code, and when we recently joined the LOT Network, an organization dedicated to addressing patent abuse by companies in the business of assertion.
Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network said:
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. 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.