Google has joined the Open Invention Network

By EDRi · August 29, 2007

The Open Invention Network (OIN), the Open source patent-swap body, has
received Google as a new member. This means that Google has implicitly
agreed not to file any patent infringement action against the Linux

An OIN member has full access to a collection of more than 100 patents and
patent applications which is attractive “for companies that want to
repackage, embed and use Linux to host specialized services or create
complementary products. Additionally, it helps ensure the continuation of
innovation that has benefited software vendors, customers, emerging markets
and investors” as OIN site expresses. A member, however, has to agree to
take no legal actions against Linux developers, in an attempt to support
open source developers to avoid patent infringement suits. All members must
allow the other members to use their technologies without paying royalties.

The Network was created in 2005 by IBM, Novell, Sony and Red Hat in order to
create protection for companies developing open source software and includes
members such as Oracle, NEC and Phillips.

This action comes right after the annual Stanford Summit in Northern
California where Associate General Counsel, Head of Patents and Patent
Strategy Google, Michelle Lee, expressed the idea that the American patent
system was “out-of-balance (and) needs to be remedied”. On that occasion she
also added that the Patent Office was overburdened as there were too many
businesses that used patents only to make money and had created obstacles to
tech companies during the last few years.

Rosenthal, chief executive officer of OIN, expressed the pleasure to receive
Google among the network members: “As we look to grow the Linux Ecosystem,
we are pleased to have Google become our first end-user licensee(…)Google
is one of a growing number of companies, of all sizes, that value the
openness and collaborative culture of the Linux community. We applaud their
support for Linux.”

The representative of Google, DiBona, open source programmes manager, also
showed the satisfaction of the company for this action: “For us, today’s
announcement marks the latest development in a long, fruitful relationship
with the open source community.We believe Linux innovation moves fastest
when developers can share their knowledge with full peace of mind. We’re
proud to participate in an organization that’s making that possible”.

Google joins patent swap group (9.08.2007)

Google: Kill all the patent trolls (2.08.2007)

Open Invention Network Extends The Linux Ecosystem As Google Becomes Its
First End-User Licensee (7.08.2007)