​Open Invention Network Expands Open-Source Patent Protection Beyond Linux

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | ZD Net | May 9, 2017

Today, everyone and their uncle -- yes, even Microsoft-- use Linux and open-source. A decade ago, Linux was under attack by SCO for imaginary copyright violations, and then Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was claiming that Linux violated more than 200 of Microsoft's patents. So Open Invention Network (OIN) patent consortium was formed to defend Linux against intellectual property (IP) attacks. The stakes may not be so high today, but Linux and open-source software is still under attack from patent trolls and other attackers.

Steven J. Vaughan-NicholsThat's where the Open Invention Network (OIN) steps up by expanding its patent non-aggression coverage through an update to its definition of the Linux System. Apple's latest courtroom drama fizzled, with the company winning a verdict against Samsung that didn't even come close to paying its legal bills. Is it time for Apple to end its proxy war against Google's Android?

Under this new definition, OIN's Linux System, other core open-source system and middleware level programs are now protected. This includes software packages that support the growing use of Linux in industries that include finance (e.g., blockchain), automotive, telecommunications, and the internet-of-things (IoT). The Linux System includes 395 new packages. Among those programs covered now are Android, Apache, Ansible, GNOME, KDE, Kubernetes, Nagios, ChromeOS, and container...