Inspur, China's largest cloud hardware vendor, joins open-source patent protection consortium

The Open Invention Network welcomes China's Inspur to its pro-Linux and open-source software patent protection organization.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

The Open Invention Network (OIN) defends the intellectual property (IP) rights of Linux and open-source software developers from patent trolls and the like. This is a global fight and now the OIN has a new, powerful allied member in China: Inspur

Inspur is a leading worldwide provider and China's leading data center infrastructure, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI) server providers. While not a household name like Lenovo, Inspur ranks among the world's top-three server manufacturers.  

As a leading server company, almost all of its work is with Linux and open-source software. When it comes to servers, the cloud, and AI, there's really no work today that's not running on Linux. So, it only makes sense for Inspur to commit itself to the legal protection of open-source software (OSS).

After all, as Keith Bergelt, the OIN's CEO, pointed out in a statement:  "Linux is rewriting what is possible in infrastructure computing. OSS-based cloud computing and on-premise data centers are driving down the cost-per-compute while significantly increasing businesses' ability to provision AI and machine-learning (ML) capabilities. We appreciate Inspur's participation in joining OIN and demonstrating its commitment to innovation and patent non-aggression in open source." 

Inspur knows this as well as anyone. Donny Zhang, VP of Inspur information, said, "Linux and open source are critical elements in technologies which we are developing and provisioning. By joining the Open Invention Network, we are demonstrating our continued commitment to innovation, and supporting it with patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open-source software." 

Inspur is only the latest of many companies to join the OIN. Besides such primarily hardware-oriented companies as Inspur, Baidu, China's largest search engine company, and global banks such as Barclays and the TD Bank Group, have joined the OIN. In 2021, companies far removed from traditional Linux companies such as Canonical, Red Hat, and SUSE all recognize Linux and OSS's importance. 
OIN protects Linux and OSS by cross-licensing Linux System -- including Android and exFAT -- patents among OIN members on a royalty-free basis. Patents owned by Open Invention Network are similarly licensed royalty-free to any organization that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. Your company can join the OIN by signing the OIN license online.

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