Microsoft transferred two thirds of its patents to the Open Invention Network (OIN)
The Open Invention Network (OIN) is an organization that owns software patents on the GNU / Linux ecosystem, and it also provides the right to use them for free. Recently, Microsoft has transferred to this organization about 60 thousand of its own patents out of 90 thousand existing.
Microsoft representatives said that the remaining 30,000 patents do not actually exist, since they are being processed by the relevant authorities. For this reason, they cannot be transferred, but after processing is completed, they will even be provided to the company's partner.
Interestingly, the OIN organization itself emerged as a tool to influence Microsoft. It was founded in 2005 by companies such as IBM, Red Hat, and three representatives of Linux. Somewhat later, such giants as Google, Toyota, AT & T, Broadcom, Cisco, Facebook, Ford, General Motors, LG Electronics, SpaceX, Twitter, Verizon and many hundreds of other companies became members of the organization. All members of OIN have the right to share with each other patents without obligations and payments.
Redmond Corporation has repeatedly accused Linux and other free software of violating many hundreds of its own patents. True, the company did not indicate which patents were violated, but in this way it tried to put pressure on the "violators", earning from patent disputes.
After some time, Microsoft realized that the world is better than war and decided to make a U-turn. So, the corporation does not use its own patents against free software, but, on the contrary, itself began to use the model of open joint development. Perhaps the reversal is due to the personal influence of the current head of the corporation, Satya Nadella.
Scott Harry, vice president of Microsoft, said the company uses a patent transfer process to protect its groundwork in the field of open source software, in which Microsoft’s interest is not only maintained, but is also increasing.
“10-15 years ago, we focused on the rivalry between Linux and Microsoft, but today Microsoft is a completely different company. With the development of the Azure cloud service, Microsoft has become one of the largest providers of Open Source. Now we can say that we love Linux and Open Source. This is quite a solid part of our current and future business, ”Erich Andersen, Microsoft’s chief intellectual property adviser, told Yahoo Finance.
Also, the company said that developers should not make the choice between Windows, Linux, Java,. NET and other software. Cloud platforms must support all technologies, and Microsoft is trying to make its services work with all the technical tools and platforms developers may need.
By the way, every year, developers of Android devices pay corporations about $ 2 billion. Nevertheless, the company is ready to give up money, but to get the opportunity to actively interact with representatives of the open-source community.
Now the company is engaged in the development of cloud services, which are becoming increasingly popular - this refers not only to Microsoft services, but also to other companies. In a number of corporations, it is “clouds” that have become the main financial instrument for growth. At the same Microsoft, the Intelligent Cloud service profit grew by 23% to $ 9.6 billion. It is worth recalling that in June this year the company acquired the Github service, the world's largest cloud storage of open source projects. The size of the transaction amounted to $ 7.5 billion.
In October of this year, part of the source code of the game Minecraft: Java Edition was published by the company just in this service, under a free license from Microsoft. The code is open under the MIT license, it is the Brigadier and DataFixerUpper Java libraries.
Microsoft currently calls itself one of the largest open source software developers in the world. The management of the company stated that employees contribute to more than 2 thousand different open source projects. Active work in the field of cloud software began in 2008, with the opening of a platform for developing ASP.NET web applications.