Leading supply-chain company Maersk joins the Open Invention Network

Maersk, a top global supply chain company, is joining the defense of Linux and open-source patents by teaming up with OIN.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

When you're a technologist, and you hear "containers" and "supply-chain," your mind immediately turns to Docker containers and supply-chain software. Most people, however, think of container ships and the physical supply chain that brings milk and bread to their local grocery store. However, these two concepts have more in common than you might think. A. P. Møller - Mærsk A/S (Maersk) is a leading global container logistics and shipping services leader company that uses open-source software to deliver its goods. 

So, it's not really a surprise that Maersk is joining the Open Invention Network (OIN), which safeguards Linux and open-source software patents. Maersk relies on open-source software for its supply chain management platforms.  

As Simone Frattasi, Maersk's Head of Global IP, explained, "As we continue our digital transformation, we remain focused on building and integrating the best technologies for our logistics platforms, delivering services that our customers value and trust. Open source plays a pivotal role in the platforms and applications that we build, purchase and integrate."

With all of today's modern supply chain problems, the misfiring container logistics needs all the help it can get. True, it needs more ships, truck drivers, and warehouses, but it also needs the best possible software to manage all these moving physical parts.

This makes perfect sense. After all, Keith Bergelt, OIN's CEO, pointed out. "Fast evolving supply chain technologies, from tracking chips and sensors to blockchain platforms," work hand-in-hand with logistics. So, "integrated logistics companies increasingly rely on open-source technologies as they modernize, integrate, and build new supply chain capabilities." 

Together, Maersk and the OIN will practice 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-owned patents are licensed royalty-free to any organization that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. The OIN license can be signed online by simply joining the OIN.

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