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Understanding the Open Invention Network

Dec 28, 2010, 18:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier)

"A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the CPTN gang that's buying Novell's patents and speculated that it might be a Google they're after. Whether Google or another company, a few folks have commented that the Open Invention Network (OIN) can protect members against patent threats from other OIN members. When it comes to Linux, that's true. When it comes to other things? Not so much.

"After seeing comments about OIN and talking to other FOSS folks, I realized many folks (including yours truly) weren't entirely clear on what OIN does and doesn't protect. Specifically, there seemed to be an idea that OIN covers a lot more than Linux, or anything that's open source, or anything between member companies.

"So I started combing through the OIN Web site and pinged OIN CEO Keith Bergelt. According to Bergelt, OIN holds a number of patents and its members "agree to a cross license of all of their patents for making, having made, using, importing, and distributing any Linux System."

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