The Open Invention Network - an IP company created to protect Linux from patent lawsuits - has purchased 22 patents formerly owned by Microsoft and which appear to impact Linux, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The group purchased the patents from Allied Security Trust - a consortium of companies, including Verizon, HP and Cisco, created to buy up patents in a self-defensive move. AST bought these patents from Microsoft in a private auction. OIN CEO Keith Bergelt says Microsoft presented these patents as Linux-related, although Microsoft declined to confirm this. The move is designed to protect against the possibility that the patents could be sold off to patent trolls who would use them against open source companies.
We have averted a scenario where these patents can be used for negative purposes.