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Google takes first end-user OIN licence

Linux patents war chest lands a big one
Tue Aug 07 2007, 16:04

SELF-PROCLAIMED goody-two-shoes, Gurgle has taken the first end-user licence from the Open Invention Network sm (OIN), a consortium of software patent holders pledged to support open sauce software development around Linux. OIN describes itself thus:

Open Invention Network sm is an intellectual property company that was formed to promote Linux by using patents to create a collaborative environment. It promotes a positive, fertile ecosystem for Linux, which in turns drives innovation and choice in the global marketplace. This helps ensure the continuation of innovation that has benefited software vendors, customers, emerging markets and investors.

In a press release dated today, Jerry Rosenthal, CEO of OIN, said "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."

As the first end-user licencee, Google gains lawsuit protection pledged by patent holding members of OIN, which include IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony.

Chris DiBona, Google open source programs manager, said "Linux plays a vital role at Google, and we're strongly committed to supporting the Linux developer community. We believe that by becoming an Open Invention Network licensee, we can encourage Linux development and foster innovation in a way that benefits everyone. We're proud to participate in OIN's mission to help Linux thrive."

It looks like patent threats against Linux just got a little hollower. µ



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