Amazon joins Open Invention Network

AWS puts its patents behind the open-source and Linux patent guard OIN.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
This picture taken on July 4, 2022 shows the Amazon logo, a major online shopping company, at Amazon Amagasaki Fulfillent Center in Amagasaki, Hyogo prefecture
Image by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

Patent trolls are the bane of companies large and small. So, it should come as no surprise that Amazon and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have joined the Open Invention Network (OIN) -- the world's largest patent non-aggression consortium.

OIN has long protected Linux and Linux-related software from patent aggression by rival companies. With the recent increase in patent troll attacks, the OIN is also defending companies from these assaults.

This is a natural move for Amazon. Besides relying on Linux and open-source software both for its retail and cloud businesses, Amazon has a strict policy against patent infringement, and users who engage in this behavior can have their listings removed or accounts deleted. Nevertheless, like all large companies, Amazon has also been sued for patent violations. Joining the OIN simply makes good business sense.

As Keith Bergelt, OIN's CEO, explained, "Linux and other open source projects have become the foundation for innovations occurring across a spectrum of industries that include retail and e-commerce, cloud computing, and entertainment We are pleased that Amazon is committed to patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open-source technologies." 

Nithya Ruff, the Amazon Open Source Program Office director, added: 

Linux and open source are essential to many of our customers and a key driver of innovation across Amazon. We are proud to support a broad range of open-source projects, foundations, and partners, and we are committed to the long-term success and sustainability of open source as a whole. By joining OIN, we are continuing to strengthen open source communities and helping to ensure technologies like Linux remain thriving and accessible to everyone.

OIN's community practices patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open-source technologies by cross-licensing Linux System patents to one another on a royalty-free basis. OIN patents are also licensed royalty-free to any organization that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. Any company is welcome to join OIN that agrees to support the OIN's open patents. You can join via the online membership form and the OIN license agreement.

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