Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Protection for Linux Users from Patent Lawsuits

In an article in today's Wall Street Journal, the Open Invention Network, or OIN, is seeking to protect users of Linux from "patent trolls" by purchasing patents formerly owned by Microsoft. For those of you unfamiliar with the term "patent trolls" it's generally a term used for groups that do not create products but acquire patents to earn financial rewards through lawsuits and settlements. OIN is made up of several major corporations such as IBM, Red Hat, and Sony.

OIN is currently seeking to acquire patents from Allied Security Trust (AST), another organization that purchases patents and provides licenses as well as reselling those patents on the open market. AST previously won several Microsoft patents in a private auction.

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