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Google Becomes OIN's First End User Licensee "To Help Linux Thrive"
Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 03:12 AM EDT

Google has become an Open Invention Network licensee. Here's the press release about it.

“Linux plays a vital role at Google, and we're strongly committed to supporting the Linux developer community,” said Chris DiBona, Google open source programs manager. “We believe that by becoming an Open Invention Network licensee, we can encourage Linux development and foster innovation in a way that benefits everyone. We're proud to participate in OIN's mission to help Linux thrive.”

This is huge. All previous licensees have been developers, sellers or resellers of Linux. Plus... let's be real. It's Google. OIN becomes increasingly important as a shield against patent attacks.

Media reactions:

  • Charles Babcock, Information Week: The addition of Google means seven companies have formed a bulwark of protection around Linux....

    The Open Invention Network's set of Linux patents numbered over 100 before Google joined its ranks. DiBona couldn't say exactly how many patents Google will add to the portfolio, but he noted Google staffers include many Linux contributors.

  • China Martens, Infoworld: OIN hopes Google becoming a licensee will result in many other end-user organizations, both large and small, following its lead, according to Jerry Rosenthal, CEO of OIN. "Google clearly wants to see Linux succeed," he added. "They've become much more vocal about their support of Linux."

    In a blog posting on its Web site, Chris DiBona, open-source programs manager at Google, stressed how much the search giant relies on Linux. "Ever since Google got its start, Linux has given us the power and flexibility we need to serve millions of users around the world," he wrote. Being an OIN licensee enables companies like Google to focus less on patent issues and more on developing software and is therefore "the legal equivalent of taking a long, deep, relaxing breath," DiBona added. "We believe that Linux innovation moves fastest when developers can share their knowledge with full peace of mind."

*********************************

Open Invention Network™ Extends The Linux Ecosystem As Google Becomes Its First End-User Licensee

San Francisco (August 7, 2007) Open Invention Network (OIN), the company formed to spur innovation and protect the Linux System, today extended the Linux Ecosystem with the signing of Google as its first end-user licensee. By becoming a licensee, Google has joined the growing list of companies that are leveraging the Open Invention Network to share Linux–based intellectual property.

Patents owned by Open Invention Network are available royalty-free to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. This enables companies to continue to make significant corporate and capital expenditure investments in Linux – helping to fuel economic growth. By developing a web of Linux developers, distributors, sellers, resellers and end-users that license its patent portfolio, Open Invention Network is creating a supportive and shielded ecosystem to ensure the growth and adoption of Linux.

“As we look to grow the Linux Ecosystem, we are pleased to have Google become our first end-user licensee,” said Jerry Rosenthal, chief executive officer of Open Invention Network. “Google is one of a growing number of companies, of all sizes, that value the openness and collaborative culture of the Linux community. We applaud their support for Linux.”

“Linux plays a vital role at Google, and we're strongly committed to supporting the Linux developer community,” said Chris DiBona, Google open source programs manager. “We believe that by becoming an Open Invention Network licensee, we can encourage Linux development and foster innovation in a way that benefits everyone. We're proud to participate in OIN's mission to help Linux thrive.”

OIN has accumulated more than 100 strategic, worldwide patents and patent applications. These patents are available to all licensees as part of the patent portfolio that OIN is creating around, and in support of Linux. This makes it economically attractive for companies that want to repackage, embed and use Linux to host specialized services or create complementary products. Additionally, it helps ensure the continuation of innovation that has benefited software vendors, customers, emerging markets and investors.

The Open Invention Network license agreement can be found at www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_license.php.

About Open Invention Network

Open Invention Network is an intellectual property company formed to further the Linux System by acquiring patents and ensuring their availability. It promotes a positive, fertile Linux Ecosystem, which in turn drives innovation and choice in the global marketplace. Open Invention Network has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. For more information go to www.openinventionnetwork.com.

Open Invention Network, OIN and the Open Invention Network logo are the properties of Open Invention Network, LLC. Google is a trademark of Google Inc. All other brands and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


  


Google Becomes OIN's First End User Licensee "To Help Linux Thrive" | 242 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
OT Here
Authored by: lannet on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 03:28 AM EDT
Clickable links please

---
When you want a computer system that works, just choose Linux.
When you want a computer system that works, just, choose Microsoft.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here please
Authored by: lannet on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 03:29 AM EDT
Flag the correction in the title please

---
When you want a computer system that works, just choose Linux.
When you want a computer system that works, just, choose Microsoft.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspick comments here please
Authored by: lannet on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 03:30 AM EDT
Keep it relevant please

---
When you want a computer system that works, just choose Linux.
When you want a computer system that works, just, choose Microsoft.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Google could support linux
Authored by: elronxenu on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 03:30 AM EDT

Just put some text on the Google start page, something like "Free yourself from Microsoft" ... and links to various distributions.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Wasn't Steve Balmy going to crush Google?
Authored by: kawabago on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 03:42 AM EDT
I guess that was taken out with all the parts of Vista that didn't work. Which
I think left only XP.

It must be so frustrating to spend all that time and effort clawing,
backstabbing and cheating your way to the top of the software pile only to watch
the paradigm change.

[ Reply to This | # ]

So what does that MEAN?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 04:29 AM EDT
I'm a little confused here. What does Google's taking an end user licence mean
and why is it a good thing?

Are Google paying money for this licence? And if so are others expected to do
so? Is Google's patent portfolio being added to the OIN arsenal?

Sorry if these questions are answered in the licence text, but the link in the
article doesn't seem to work.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Google Becomes OIN's First End User Licensee "To Help Linux Thrive"
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 07:13 AM EDT
I have scoured the OIN web site, and there is only one license that they offer.
They do not seem to differentiate between "end-user" and
"non-end-user" licenses anywhere on their web site, except in this
press release.

Are they calling Google an end-user licensee simply because they are not a Linux
distributor?

The OIN license appears to grant anyone the rights to use the patents that the
OIN owns royalty-free as long as they promise not to assert any of their own
patent rights against the Linux system. Do you have to sign up for a license and
officially make the promise to keep from being sued by the OIN, or are you safe
as long as you never try to assert your patent rights against the Linux System?


Maybe they should be spreading FUD about Windows Vista violating certain patents
that the OIN owns, but not specify which patents.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The "Linux Ecosystem" and the "Animal Kindom of the Mind"
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 07:29 AM EDT
Warmly welcoming Google's step, i worry about Jerry Rosenthal's wording -- Linux Ecosystem. Until now, I was used for the word "Ecosystem" only from Microsoft's mouth, often related to other companies working with their products, silently implying MS stand at the end of the food chain, both as a lion and a breeder. Humans here, animals there. But until now, i considered the freeware movement as belonging to the realm of conscious human beings.

Perhaps, i read a little to much between the lines, but terms like these do clearly expose the author's ideas. I cannot help, but wonder about his conception of man in general and about his conception of the freeware movement in particular. The expression "Ecosystem" related to economy strongly reminds me on a section in Hegel's "The Phenomenology of Mind", where he coins the term of the "animal kingdom of the spirit" (mind?) (Tierreich des Geistes). It might appear a bit farfetched, but i don't think it is. A classification of this term by George Lukas can be found online e.g. at The Young Hegel, 3.8 tragedy in the realm of the ethical , of which i cite the following paragraph:

Balzac, the great realist of the age, creates in his Human Comedy a compendium of the tragic, tragi-comic and comic contradictions growing out of the soil of bourgeois society and manifesting themselves in the relations between men. The vast scale of Balzac’s work constitutes a gigantic fresco on which the 'animal kingdom of the spirit' of capitalism is depicted in all its monstrosity, with its contradictions, its victims, and its heroic and futile struggles against its own inhumanity. Ricardo and Balzac were no socialists, indeed they were declared opponents of socialism. But both Ricardo’s objective economic analysis and Balzac’s literary mimesis of the world of capitalism point to the necessity for a new world no less vividly than Fourier’s satirical criticism of capitalism.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How many chairs...
Authored by: akempo on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 08:02 AM EDT
Will Ballmer throw today before he starts plotting his counter-FUD?

akempo


---
Problems cannot be solved on the same level of thinking that created them.
Albert Einstein

[ Reply to This | # ]

Speaking Of Google
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 09:14 AM EDT
"Matt Cutts, a software engineer at Google since January 2000, used to work
for the National Security Agency.

Keyhole, the satellite imaging company that Google acquired in October 2004, was
funded by the CIA.

"We are moving to a Google that knows more about you." — Google
CEO Eric Schmidt, February 9, 2005

Since 2000, Google has recorded your search terms, the date-time of each search,
the globally-unique ID in your cookie (it expires in 2038), and your IP address.
This information is available to governments on request. If your favorite site
features a Google search box, ask them to install their own local site search.
They could also use our site search for webmasters, which shows the same results
without the tracking."

http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm

[ Reply to This | # ]

A matter of standing....
Authored by: brian on Tuesday, August 07 2007 @ 12:48 PM EDT
Correct me if I'm wrong (IANAL, etc...)


Patents owned by Google do exactly zip in the event of a suit against a
distributor since Google would lack standing in that case. To illustrate I'll
provide a hypothetical...

Microsoft decides to sue RedHat for some patent violation. RedHat can't use any
of Google's patents as defensive patents because it doesn't own them, Google
does. Google doesn't have standing in that case so couldn't "loan"
them.

In short, I don't see how these patent deals are worth the paper the PR
statement is written on.

B.

---
#ifndef IANAL
#define IANAL
#endif

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oh my gosh!
Authored by: fuego451 on Thursday, August 09 2007 @ 12:08 AM EDT
Can't you just imagine the chairs being thrown in Redmond tonight, the epithets,
the profanity, the death threats directed against Chris Dibona?

I predict that SB will be institutionalized very shortly. Very unstable man, he.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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