Posted by cageymaru 3:43 PM (CDT)
Wednesday October 10, 2018
Microsoft has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN) with the intentions of protecting Linux and open-source software from patent assertions waged by "patent trolls." They are bringing 60,000 issued patents to the organization and hope that their joining will attract others to the organization. Microsoft employees contribute to over 2,000 open-source projects a year and Microsoft has been contributing to open-source projects since 2008. These new patents will be added to the database of voluntary patent cross-licenses between companies that OIN is known for. Members range from small startups to the biggest technology companies in the world. Previously Microsoft was extracting patent royalty amounts of around $2 billion a year from manufacturers of Android smartphones. Now it wants to sell these manufacturers services and the patent tensions interfere with the growth of their services business.
"By coming to the table at OIN," says Eben Moglen, a professor at Columbia Law School and the executive director of the Software Freedom Law Center, "Microsoft has acknowledged that the royalties it can acquire by squeezing Android manufacturers are no longer worth the maintenance of patent tension which interferes with the growth of the services business."