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Open Invention Network is a Proponent of Software Patents -- Just Like Microsoft -- and Microsoft Keeps Patents It Uses to Blackmail Linux Vendors

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OIN loves Microsoft; OIN loves software patents as well. So Microsoft’s membership in OIN is hardly a surprise and it’s not solving the main issue either, as Microsoft can indirectly sue and “Microsoft has not included any patents they might hold on exfat into the patent non-aggression pact,” according to Bradley M. Kuhn

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FSF statement on Microsoft joining the Open Invention Network

  • FSF statement on Microsoft joining the Open Invention Network

    Microsoft's announcements on October 4th and 10th, that it has joined both LOT and the Open Invention Network (OIN), are significant steps in the right direction, potentially providing respite from Microsoft's well-known extortion of billions of dollars from free software redistributors.

    These steps, though, do not by themselves fully address the problem of computational idea patents, or even Microsoft's specific infringement claims. They do not mean that Microsoft has dismantled or freely licensed its entire patent portfolio. The agreements for both LOT and OIN have substantial limitations and exclusions. LOT only deals with the problem of patent trolling by non-practicing entities. OIN's nonaggression agreement only covers a defined list of free software packages, and any OIN member, including Microsoft, can withdraw completely with thirty days notice.

    With these limitations in mind, FSF welcomes the announcements, and calls on Microsoft to take additional steps to continue the momentum toward a complete resolution:

    1) Make a clear, unambiguous statement that it has ceased all patent infringement claims on the use of Linux in Android.

FSF Wants Microsoft To Do More To Help Fight Software Patents

FSF Issues Statement on Microsoft Joining OIN

What does Microsoft joining the Open Invention Network mean...

  • ​What does Microsoft joining the Open Invention Network mean for you?

    Before going further, let me say: I am not a lawyer. Heck, I'm not even my old friend Groklaw's Pamela "PJ" Jones. But I have spoken to numerous intellectual property (IP) attorneys, and this is the gist of what the deal means. For real advice, though, consult your IP-savvy lawyer.

    First, all -- yes, all -- of Microsoft's patents are covered by the OIN deal. Microsoft has licensed its entire patent portfolio to OIN licensees covering the Linux System. Yes, Microsoft has 90,000 total patents, but only 60,000 have been approved to date. The 30,000 remaining are still making their way through the Patent and Trademark Office. As to-be-issued patents, these cannot be asserted. Once they are issued, Microsoft intends to license those, as well.

Latest SJVN

  • Microsoft's patent move: Giant leap forward or business as usual?

    So, while there are a few people who think Microsoft is up to no good, the experts agree that this is a laudable move by Microsoft to show its open-source bona fides. That's not to say some still want to see more proof of Microsoft's intentions, but overall, people agree this is a major step forward for Microsoft, Linux, and open-source intellectual property law regulation.

Now by Andy Updegrove

  • Microsoft and OIN: Legal Commitments vs. the Power of the Taboo

    On the surface, the significance of Microsoft's joining OIN lies with its agreeing to the terms of the OIN license. But in joining OIN, Microsoft may in fact be acknowledging the power of a far older social force: the community taboo.

    Yesterday's announcement is just the latest in a years-long series of Microsoft actions recognizing the realities of today's IT environment. There's simply no denying the fundamental role now of open source and, as importantly, the vital importance of being seen as a leader in OSS development.

    [...]

    But the benefits of joining OIN go further than this. By officially joining the OIN club, Microsoft gains a stronger right to claim the broader protection of the taboo that covers all open source software, whether or not it utilizes the Linux kernel.

    Perhaps the greatest significance of Microsoft's OIN announcement is therefore that it realized that under today's marketplace realities, it was already bound by the same terms, and more.

And by Sean Michael Kerner

  • Microsoft Pledges to Protect Linux and Open Source With Its Patents

    Yet even after joining the Linux Foundation and becoming an active contributor to multiple open-source efforts, the issue of the 235 patents has remained. Despite repeatedly saying that it "loves Linux," Microsoft had never formally renounced its patent claims. The patent move to the OIN appears to be a step in that direction.

    When asked by eWEEK if the OIN patent agreement involved the 235 patents that Microsoft alleges that open-source software infringes on, Microsoft provided a nuanced statement.

    "We’re licensing all patents we own that read on the ‘Linux system’ for free to other OIN licensees," a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an email to eWEEK.

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