Microsoft announced that it has officially joined the Open Invention Network (OIN) community. Open Invention Network can be understood as a shared defensive patent pool, which was established in 2015 to protect Linux and its related open source projects. OIN has several industry leaders including Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Red Hat, Sony, SUSE and Toyota. Any company, project, or developer working on Linux, GNU, Android, or any other Linux-related software development can join OIN and get thousands of patents or copyrights for free through cross-licensing.
For the advantages of Linux and other open source technologies, Microsoft has brought OIN a valuable and in-depth product portfolio of more than 60,000 published patents. Open Invention Network CEO Keith Bergelt said: “Open source continues to expand into new products and markets to create an unparalleled level of innovation. By participating in OIN, Microsoft recognizes the importance of open source software for its future development, and Microsoft’s participation in OIN has enhanced us. A strong community reduces the patent risk of core technologies through its breadth and depth.”
Erich Andersen, vice president and chief intellectual property consultant at Microsoft, also admitted: “Now, as we join OIN, we believe Microsoft will be able to do more than ever to help protect Linux and other important open source workloads 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 license network even stronger for the benefit of the open source community.“
Also, Microsoft also announced on October 4 that it had joined the LOT Network. LOT Network is an evolving non-profit community founded by several technology companies such as Google and Dropbox. It is an organisation dedicated to combating patent hooliganism. The tax-free right to use any patent leaving the LOT Network will be given to all participants in the organisation, which will help them avoid many patent litigations. The addition of Microsoft means that it is aligned with other industry leaders on this topic and is committed to taking more steps to address intellectual property risks in the future. By joining the LOT Network, Microsoft promises to license its patents to other members for free, while the LOT Network covers approximately 1.35 million patients.