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Open Invention Network expands Linux patent protection

The OIN brings its patent protection to numerous new open-source programs and components.

Today, everyone -- yes, even Microsoft -- use Linux and open-source. It's been years since Linux was under attack by SCO for imaginary copyright violations, and then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed that Linux violated over 200 of Microsoft's patents. So over 15-years ago, the Open Invention Network (OIN) patent consortium was formed to defend Linux against intellectual property (IP) attacks. Even so, Linux and open-source software are still under attack from patent trolls and other attackers. That's where the Open Invention Network (OIN) steps up by expanding its patent non-aggression coverage by updating its Linux System definition.

The OIN, the world's largest patent non-aggression community in history, is adding the following programs and components to the Linux System: .NET, ONNX, tvm, Prometheus, Helm, Notary, Istio, Nix, OpenEmbedded, CoreOS, uClibc-ng, mbed-tls, musl, SPDX, AGL Services, OVN, FuseSoc, Verilator, Flutter, Jasmine, Weex, NodeRED, Eclipse Paho, Californium, Cyclone, and Wakaama, among others. Altogether 337 new software components are being added. This brings the total number of protected packages to 3,730.

Yes, that includes a programming environment, .NET, from Microsoft; Prometheus, the open-source time-series monitoring program; and Helm, the Kubernetes DevOps framework. In short, OIN's protecting parasol against open-source's IP enemies has grown ever wider, ever more protective.

"Linux and open source collaboration continue to thrive as they accelerate the pace of transformation across a spectrum of industries. With this update, we have addressed expansion in key software platforms and projects. Additionally, we have added protection for strategic packages that enable hardware design and embedded applications," said Keith Bergelt, the OIN's CEO. 

Bergelt added, "This Linux System definition update enables OIN to keep pace with open-source innovation, promoting patent non-aggression in the core. As open source grows, we will continue to protect it through deliberate software package additions to the Linux System."

As always, the 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-owned patents are similarly licensed royalty-free to any organization that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. 

You can sign the OIN license online.

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