Microsoft joins the Open Invention Network and "distributes" licenses for 60,000 of its patents.
Microsoft joins the Open Invention Network , submitting about 60,000 patents to a common pool . The news of this was published on October 10, 2018 in the blog of a monopolist corporation in the market of desktop operating systems.
The Open Invention Network, OIN, is an organization (and a community of patent owners around it) that owns software patents in the GNU / Linux universe. The goal of OIN is to protect Linux and other free software products from patent lawsuits. Community members transfer patents to a common pool, allowing these members to use these patents for free on the basis of a royalty-free license.
OIN has about 2500 participants, among which there are such large companies as IBM, SUSE, Red Hat, Google, Novell, Philips, Sony. A remarkable fact was that since 2014 one of the licensees of the OIN patent pool has been the ReactOS Foundation . In the light of new developments, we can conclude that the likelihood of patent claims by Microsoft to the ReactOS project has become extremely small .
Keith Bergelt, the CEO of OIN, stated:
This is almost everything Microsoft owns, including the older open-source technologies, such as Android, the Linux kernel and OpenStack, and the new ones, such as LF Energy and HyperLedger, their predecessors and successors.
An interesting detail is that one of the reasons for the emergence of OIN is considered the aggressive policy of Microsoft on Linux in the past decade. Microsoft claimed that more than 300 patents were violated in Linux , while the list of these patents was not disclosed and was used to put pressure on manufacturers of devices based on Linux. At some point, patent claims began to be advanced against Android and this platform was taken under the protection of OIN.
A week earlier (October 4, 2018) Microsoft Corporation in the same way joined to the organization LOT Network, whose main profile of activity was the fight against patent trolls and the protection of developers from patent lawsuits. The organization was created in 2014 by Google, and gathered in its walls besides the search giant and other major market players - the Wikimedia Foundation, Red Hat, Dropbox, Netflix, Uber, Ford, Mazda, GM, Honda and about 300 other participants.
The LOT Network patent protection method is based on cross-licensing of patents between all members of an organization. By joining the LOT Network, Microsoft promised to license its patents to other members of the LOT Network free of charge in case of a risk of an “patent troll” attack. In total, the LOT Network now covers about 1.35 million patents.
UPD . Lawyers from the Free Software Foundation (FSF) warnedthat, as usual, in the actions of Microsoft is not so rosy. In particular, the LOT Network organization deals only with the problem of patent trolling by non-practicing organizations. If you are taken not by a patent troll without production, but by a real market participant, the organization most likely will not be able to help you. As for OIN, the “non-aggression agreement” OIN covers only a certain list of free software packages , and any member of OIN, including Microsoft, can completely withdraw from the organization, notifying of its decision 30 days before its implementation.
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Why do you think Microsoft went to meet the FOSS community?
- 12.9% This is a cunning plan, trapped by “Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish” 28
- 17.5% Trying to lead the trend that they could not destroy, in order to control 38
- 15.7% Decided to change the paradigm, build the future of their business based on Open Source 34
- 25.9% This is a forced move in the framework of competition with Amazon, Google, Apple 56
- 13.4% Just a very expensive PR company and image changes, without changes in the core business 29
- 12.9% Distracting maneuver, “spectacular” dumping of assets that almost depreciated 28
- 1.3% Something else 3