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Google pledges 79 more patents to the open source community

More weapons against patent trolls
Fri Aug 09 2013, 16:10
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SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has given the open source community 79 patents to help defend against patent trolls.

Under the headline "More patents in the service of open source" the firm spelled out its intentions and its continued campaign against patent claims that slow down and harm innovation.

"Open-source software has accelerated the pace of innovation in computing, leading to better products and services at lower cost. But as the impact of open source software has grown, so too has the number of patent attacks against it," said Duane Valz, senior patent counsel at Google.

"In March, we announced an Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge - committing not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Our goal was to encourage pro-competitive, defensive uses of patents to support open source innovation."

Carrying this further is the promise to release 79 more patents under the OPN Pledge. Some of the patents come from IBM and they extend to servers.

"Today we are pleased to pledge an additional 79 patents under the OPN [Pledge]. These patents cover software used to efficiently operate data centers, including middleware, distributed storage management, distributed database management, and alarm monitoring," explained Valz.

"We acquired these patents from IBM and CA Technologies, companies that in 2005 were among the first to make open source patent pledges. The goal of the patent system is to foster innovation, and we aim to use patents, whether acquired or developed internally, in support of that goal."

In March Google released 10 patents that relate to its Mapreduce technology, and according to Valz the firm will broaden the releases and add more consumer facing patents to the mix.

"To date, the patents we've included in the Pledge have generally related to 'back-end' technologies: servers, data centers, and the like," he added. "But open source software is also transforming the development of consumer products that people use every day - so stay tuned for additional extensions to patents covering those sorts of technologies." µ


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