Linux group buys up 22 patents

Linux group buys up 22 patents

Summary: 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.

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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.

Topics: Patents, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Legal, Linux, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Verizon

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7 comments
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  • Nothing but good news here. You are now free to innovate.

    And Microsoft was hoping these would end up with
    a patent troll who would assert them against open
    source companies . . . .

    Makes me want to cry!!
    DonnieBoy
    • And where in your paranoid imagination did you come up with that?

      Honestly, if Microsoft was waiting to pounce, why were the patents "formerly" owned by Microsoft?
      Confused by religion
      • RE:And where in your paranoid imagination did you come up with that?

        Microsoft dares not 'pounce', ever. There would be many forces immediately arrayed against them. However, once sold and out of Microsoft's control, if a patent troll wanted to bring suit, Microsoft's hands would be clean. This may, to conspiracy nutties, have been Microsoft's intent.
        richdave
      • Same as many others

        Retaliation in the form of infringement suits from the big boys in the patent world (think IBM - how's that for a twist on a slogan?) could cripple or destroy Microsoft's business.

        But a troll with no business to protect to bring nuisance suits and do serious damage to the world of IT with virtually no accountability for its actions. This is what is in these paranoid imaginations.

        Peril - whether real or imagined - averted, at least for the moment.
        IT_User
  • Paranoid Imagination?

    It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see that the balance of paranoia is just about right; not too far either way. I think the paranoia problem is on the other side of the fence, no offence.
    twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988
  • RE: Linux group buys up 22 patents

    I don't understand what is meant by 'patent trolls', but whatever it helps open source and open source is just fun if your a programmer :)
    vinsai
    • A try at defining

      A patent troll holds a patent (usually through acquisition, rather than inventing) for the sole purpose of collecting royalties.

      This is the rub. The reason the US awards patents is to encourage innovation, which is good for commerce, ... What keeps a Microsoft from bringing infringement suits is that it could invite retaliation from a patent behemoth like IBM, which perennially garners the most patents awarded. IBM and others could likely shut down their business. But a patent troll has no business to threaten. Many suspect that MS is hoping the outfit acquiring these patents will act as a surrogate harassing those that are innovating, developing and using technology.

      Something like that.
      IT_User