A ROOKERY of penguin fanciers has been meeting to protect Linux from Volish patent lawsuits.
According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) the meeting included such big names as IBM, Red Hat and Sony.
Their plan is to avert legal threats that might discourage the adoption of Linux by buying up a set of 22 patents formerly owned by Microsoft.
The Vole flogged the patents to Allied Security Trust, which buys patents to protect its members from patent litigation, provides them with licences to the technology, and then resells the patents on the open market.
The group, which is called the Open Invention Network (OIN), argues that its acquisition will protect users of Linux software from expensive lawsuits that could result if the patents fell into the wrong hands.
OIN and AST, which sounds like a tag team of Japanese Sumo wrestlers, said their cooperation will ensure that the Microsoft patents won't end up with patent trolls.
Microsoft knows that the patents are connected to Linux because it flogged them to AST saying that they were. Goodness knows why the Vole did this. Maybe it thought that its patents weren't really worth much.
However 22 patents are only a tenth of the mysterious patents that Microsoft claims are violated by Linux. µ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked