"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
"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."