Microsoft brings 60,000 patents to the Open Invention Network

Microsoft brings 60,000 patents to the Open Invention Network

Microsoft will add almost 60,000 patents to OIN, vastly enlarging its existing pool of 1,300 global patents.

Open Invention Network (OIN) is an open source patent group that works to make sure that Linux is safe from the fury of IP lawsuits.

OIN was originally founded in 2005 as an effort to protect Linux and its users from patent aggression.

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Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Erich Andersen said Microsoft brings more than 60,000 issued patents to OIN. 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. In return it expects that licensees do not assert their patents against the Linux community. Ranging from independent developers to mammoth corporations, the coalition is a collection of companies and individuals who have agreed to offer their patents for use by the "Linux System". As a result, Android vendors were pressured to ink deals, forcing them to pay royalties to Microsoft.In 2001, Microsoft's previous CEO Steve Ballmer also famously derided Linux as a "cancer" on intellectual property. "We hope this announcement will be viewed as the next logical step for a company that is listening to customers and developers", he added. More broadly, Microsoft has become more open to open source development (with projects such as TypeScript, Visual Studio Code, and.NET Core all being significant). By pledging these patents to the group, Android OEM members of the pool should have that same royalty-free access to the relevant patents, which cover Linux and Android-related technologies.

With Microsoft's contribution of 60,000 patents, the OIN has seen its patent library multiple nearly 50 times over. Previously, OIN only had ownership of 1,300 global patents.

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