Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 16th Dec 2010 21:57 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Legal Well well well well well, paint me red and call me a girly scout. I've been saying for months now that there's much more collaboration between Apple and Microsoft than their respective fanboys want to believe, especially when it comes to fighting Google and Android, which both companies partly do via patent suits. More evidence for this has emerged today. Remember CPTN Holdings, the consortium led by Microsoft which bought that bundle of patents from Novell? Which other companies are part of this consortium? EMC. Oracle. Apple.
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Thu 16th Dec 2010 22:02 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

By your powers combined, I AM CAPTAIN PATENT.

Reply Score: 16

RE: Comment by Kroc
by QuadSix50 on Thu 16th Dec 2010 22:15 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
QuadSix50 Member since:
2005-07-07

All we need now is for Google to go Super Saiyan. ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Kroc
by _Nine_ on Fri 17th Dec 2010 00:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
_Nine_ Member since:
2010-10-13

LOLOL!

Reply Score: 1

pass
by poundsmack on Thu 16th Dec 2010 22:24 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

"...paint me red and call me a girly scout."

After what happened last time, I think I'm going to have to pass. I too am surprised(ish) about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: pass
by dylansmrjones on Fri 17th Dec 2010 00:02 UTC in reply to "pass"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Hmm... I wonder if there is a connection to a certain encrypted unicorn-porn folder. It seems to follow along those lines :p

Reply Score: 2

friends
by poundsmack on Thu 16th Dec 2010 22:26 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

"...there's much more collaboration between Apple and Microsoft than their respective fanboys want to believe, especially when it comes to fighting Google and Android..."

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Honestly, they do need to team up to keep google from taking over the world.

Reply Score: 2

RE: friends
by Kroc on Thu 16th Dec 2010 22:30 UTC in reply to "friends"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

They were competitors in 1984, and that was it. After the UI case was dealt with, they’ve been playing very different games that have come to converge with Google the clear common threat between them. Expect much chumming up between these three.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: friends
by poundsmack on Thu 16th Dec 2010 22:37 UTC in reply to "RE: friends"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

Very true. While that mentality ended some time ago one must remember that any other business that competes with another, and who's existence and products take away from the others potential profits, is viewed at as "the enemy." Just the way it is...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: friends
by steve_s on Fri 17th Dec 2010 14:54 UTC in reply to "RE: friends"
steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

I don't see the relationship over time between MS and Apple as being particularly clear-cut as competitor or (for want of a better word) ally. Usually they're both at the same time.

Certainly back in 1984 things were far from simple. Apple considered Microsoft back then to both be a competitor with respect to operating systems, but also an important ally for applications. Indeed Microsoft had early access to the Macintosh to develop applications for it.

Apple's relationship with Google today is I believe similarly complex. They are both competitors and allies. They compete on iOS vs. Android and cooperate on WebKit.

The relationships between all of these players are complicated. They all cooperate and compete at the same time.

Reply Score: 1

RE: friends
by bnolsen on Fri 17th Dec 2010 03:25 UTC in reply to "friends"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

or produce more compelling products to compete better with google? Going to war instead of competing is bad news, especially since there are rules of business. So far google is the one who's done the least in breaking those rules of business.

Reply Score: 7

Comment by jpobst
by jpobst on Thu 16th Dec 2010 22:45 UTC
jpobst
Member since:
2006-09-26

I'm not sure I agree with your assessment. Given Novell's products over the last 20 years, I find it highly unlikely that they have any mobile phone patents.

I also doubt they would sell any patents that could be used against Linux itself, since they've gone to great lengths to protect Linux (SCO, OIN).

As mundane as it sounds, my guess is these were simply patents regarding things like networking (Netware), directory services (eDirectory), and word processing (WordPerfect).

ie: Patents they were suing Microsoft for infringing before their patent agreement.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by jpobst
by poundsmack on Thu 16th Dec 2010 23:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by jpobst"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

they could even be patents for basic OS functionality that could be going on at the core of Android or bla bla bla. as systems get more and more complex they continually increase the chances of stepping on the toes of other patents and bla bla bla. they could have just wanted them so that google couldn't have them or, if google isn't infringing on any of them, have them in hopes that they might become relevant.

my guess is MS knows whats in there (since they have been working quite a bit with Novel over the last few years (and before, *wink wink*), talked to apple and oracle and laid out a game plan, and likely helped broker the Novel sale to begin with. It seems to me this has all been laid out and executed fairly precisely and I think there is more going on than we know. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next, but I bet you at least a few of those patents MS was eager to get...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by jpobst
by Lennie on Fri 17th Dec 2010 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jpobst"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

ChromeOS maybe ?

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Comment by jpobst
by jpobst on Fri 17th Dec 2010 01:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jpobst"
v RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by TheGZeus on Fri 17th Dec 2010 03:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
RE[3]: Comment by jpobst
by poundsmack on Fri 17th Dec 2010 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by jpobst"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

You may call it such, but this kind of stuff happens all the time. These guys talk and meet up more than most would think. Those in power work together to stay in power and keep the industry going where they want. Sure it sounds conspiracy theory like, but it happens a lot.

Reply Score: 4

OIN
by lemur2 on Thu 16th Dec 2010 23:05 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Apparently, according to Groklaw, when a company joins OIN they agree that all of their patents are available in perpetuity for all other memebrs of OIN to use.

Groklaw has published articles about this twice now.

This is the earlier one:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20101206205654916&query=88...

I have some important news for you. It's about those 882 Novell patents that are being sold to a Microsoft-organized consortium in connection with the sale of Novell to Attachmate. I've been worrying about those patents, and I was wondering what happens to Novell's license to the Open Invention Network after the sale. So I took the time to find out. And it's very good news.
Here's how it works. The patents of OIN members and licensees are licensed to each other royalty-free in perpetuity. Even on a sale, the license remains in force for all pre-existing members/licensees. If you are a member/licensee of OIN prior to the closing on the Novell deal, then, you are covered. The proposed closing date is January 23rd, so you still have time to join OIN and get the benefit of the license to those patents. Then, if Microsoft shows up at your door, you can say, "Thanks, but no thanks. I already have a license."


Google is a member of OIN. Therefore, Google already has a license for the 882 patents that Novell has sold.

Any company wishing to use Android simply needs to join OIN prior to january 23rd, and they too will have a license to the patents in question.

In perpetuity.

This is the latest piece on Groklaw:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20101216113816651
So what's the common interest? "Let's all kill Android"? There's a limit on that, in that Google is also an Open Invention Network member, so it has a license to these Novell patents already.

...

By the way, Oracle is a member of OIN, so it knows how it works.


** I submitted an article about this to OSNews before, but somehow it didn't get put on the webpage.

Here is a list of OIN licensees, BTW:
http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/licensees.php

Edited 2010-12-16 23:20 UTC

Reply Score: 12

RE: OIN
by kristoph on Fri 17th Dec 2010 04:44 UTC in reply to "OIN"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

You misunderstand what OIN is (maybe Groklaw does as well, I can't say as I've not read their stuff).

OIN owns patents donated to it by it's members. It does not own or license all patents held by it's members. It's fair to say none of those Novell patents that were purchased are owned by OIN (otherwise they would not be Novell's to sell).

The patent list OIN owns is here ...
http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_owned.php

]{

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: OIN
by TheGZeus on Fri 17th Dec 2010 05:29 UTC in reply to "RE: OIN"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Again, someone voted this down...
"DUDE, that's a bummer!"
"But... it's a fact."
"SHUT UP!"
is how I imagine this would have gone afk.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: OIN
by lemur2 on Fri 17th Dec 2010 06:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: OIN"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Again, someone voted this down... "DUDE, that's a bummer!" "But... it's a fact." "SHUT UP!" is how I imagine this would have gone afk.


Problem is ... it wasn't a fact.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: OIN
by TheGZeus on Fri 17th Dec 2010 07:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: OIN"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Ok, "in lieu of providing facts"

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: OIN
by lemur2 on Fri 17th Dec 2010 12:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: OIN"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Ok, "in lieu of providing facts"


I don't understand what you mean.

Here are the facts:
1. The poster kristoph who was voted down claimed this:
You misunderstand what OIN is (maybe Groklaw does as well, I can't say as I've not read their stuff).

OIN owns patents donated to it by it's members. It does not own or license all patents held by it's members. It's fair to say none of those Novell patents that were purchased are owned by OIN (otherwise they would not be Novell's to sell).


Well, that last paragraph was correct, but it very much missed the point.

Here is what OIN gets its members and licensees to agree to when they join:
http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_license.php

It is right there in plain sight on OIN's webpage.

You see, I didn't misunderstand at all ... the poster kristoph who was voted down was the one who actually misunderstood.

The patents related to Linux held by OIN's members and licensees are all licensed royalty free to each other, in perpetuity.

Groklaw was correct.

The OP (kristoph) misunderstood the extent to which the OIN is what its own title claims it to be ... the OIN is indeed an Open Invention Network. All OIN members and licensees end up having a royalty-free license to use all Linux-related patents of the whole group.

That is a lot of patents they all have a license to.

Anyway, the point stands. Google is an OIN licensee. Google is listed amongst the "community of OIN licensees".

http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/licensees.php

Novell is listed not only as a licensee, but as a founding member.

That in turn means means that Google already has a license, in perpetuity, to use any Linux-related patent that may be within the set of 882 Novell patents sold to CPTN Holdings.

OIN doesn't own those 882 patents, nor does Google (Novell used to own them) ... but nevertheless all OIN members and licensees have a license (IOW they have permission) to use those patents. In perpetuity. This will remain so even after Novell sells the patents to CPTN Holdings.

In turn, I'm afraid that fact makes nonsense of the speculation in the original article, which said:
And now, we have the news that CPTN Holdings, which recently acquired a boatload of patents from Novell, is actually a consortium consisting of EMC, Oracle, Apple, and Microsoft. All this is yet more proof that when it comes to intellectual property - the chosen weapon in the fight against Android - Oracle, Apple, and Microsoft are big buddies.

It'll be interesting to see if Google will be able to withstand all this.


Of course Google will be able to withstand this: Google already holds a license for those patents (if any are related to Linux). If there are patents amongst the 882 which are not related to Linux, then they cannot be used to attack Google over Android.

What is surprising to me is that I already sent Thom an article linking to this finding posted on Groklaw. Thom must be more than a bit embarrased if he has just now realised what it meant.

I'm sorry to say it Thom, but all this makes you look very much like a red-painted girly scout.

Edited 2010-12-17 12:44 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: OIN
by TheGZeus on Fri 17th Dec 2010 15:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: OIN"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

*headdesk*

Apparently I need to present you with the entire orthography of that, as your ability to detect drollery seems to be impaired.

The person who clicked upon the downward-pointing phalange also had the option of presenting us a similar set of facts to those you presented, but they failed to do so, out of cowardice, or sloth.

I've presented the facts in a precise manner, whether or not _you_ need a dictionary. I hope not, but considering the fact that I had to write that at all, I have my doubts...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: OIN
by lemur2 on Fri 17th Dec 2010 06:03 UTC in reply to "RE: OIN"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You misunderstand what OIN is (maybe Groklaw does as well, I can't say as I've not read their stuff). OIN owns patents donated to it by it's members. It does not own or license all patents held by it's members. It's fair to say none of those Novell patents that were purchased are owned by OIN (otherwise they would not be Novell's to sell). The patent list OIN owns is here ... http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_owned.php ]{


OIN does own some patents in its own right (it buys them using donated funding).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Invention_Network
The Open Invention Network (OIN) is a company that acquires patents and licenses them royalty free to entities

...

OIN holds the Commerce One Web services patents (previously acquired by Novell for $15.5 million)


Your list:
http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_owned.php
... I can't say if OIN actually purchased all of these, or if some were simply donated directly, but OIN owns them now.

Other patents (owned by members, not owned by OIN) are licensed by OIN members to each other.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Invention_Network
entities which, in turn, agree not to assert their own patents against Linux and Linux-related systems and applications.


Groklaw's understanding, as explained to PJ when she contacted the OIN:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20101206205654916&query=88...
The patents of OIN members and licensees are licensed to each other royalty-free in perpetuity. Even on a sale, the license remains in force for all pre-existing members/licensees. If you are a member/licensee of OIN prior to the closing on the Novell deal, then, you are covered.


OIN's understanding:
http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_license.php

OIN® grants patent license to licensee
– All OIN patents and applications for all products
Licensee grants patent license to OIN®
All licensee patents and applications for the Linux System
Licensee grants license to other current and future licensees
All licensee patents and applications for the Linux System


As far as I can tell, Wikipedia, Groklaw and the OIN all understand it fine, and it is you who have misunderstood.

Edited 2010-12-17 06:20 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

OK, what happend to OpenBSD possibly wasn't true.

Still, it caught be completely by surprise.

Reply Score: 2

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Really?
You're really surprised?

I'd have been surprised had this _not_ come to light at some point.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

In the case of OpenBSD.. all we need now is.. *evidence*.. that the claims of a backdoor are true.. It being open source, you'll also get the details of, if true, how a malicious developer could inject and maintain hidden code in OpenBSD's source tree.. that and confirm if other project management processes are also at risk.

Until the investigation is finished, you can run about waving the OpenBSD rumor around as fact proof positive, I'll wait for some supporting evidence to corroborate the claims of a random email.

Reply Score: 4

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

At this point, nothing has been found:

http://extendedsubset.com/?p=41

Reply Score: 2

Apple and Microsoft have a long tradition ...
by pica on Fri 17th Dec 2010 11:33 UTC
pica
Member since:
2005-07-10

... in cooperating behind the stage.

pica

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shotsman
by shotsman on Fri 17th Dec 2010 12:40 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

Thom, you are a girly scout who should be painted ORANGE...

One minor nit.
The deal to purchase these patents is not yet done/completed/monies handed over. That is due in January.
There is still time for another buyer with a better offer to come on the scene. The Novell board are duty bound to consider any new offers especially if they give a better return of capital to shareholders.
some other sites are reporting that VMWare might still be in the 'ball game' so to speak.

Edited 2010-12-17 12:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by shotsman
by lemur2 on Fri 17th Dec 2010 12:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by shotsman"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Thom, you are a girly scout who should be painted ORANGE...

One minor nit.
The deal to purchase these patents is not yet done/completed/monies handed over. That is due in January.
There is still time for another buyer with a better offer to come on the scene. The Novell board are duty bound to consider any new offers especially if they give a better return of capital to shareholders.
some other sites are reporting that VMWare might still be in the 'ball game' so to speak.


True enough.

It doesn't matter though who ends up with the patents as far as Google and Android are concerned, Google already has a license for them (at least, those of the 882 patents related to Linux).

Incidentally, any company which joins OIN by the 23rd of January will also gain a license to use any of the Linux-related patents.

Since the only cost to join the OIN is to undertake not to sue any other OIN members or licensees over Linux, and joining OIN gives one a perpetual royalty-free license to all of the Linux-related patents of all of the OIN members and licensees, that seems like a tremendously good deal to me.

http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/licensees.php

There are a lot of Linux-related patents held by that group collectively.

Edited 2010-12-17 12:54 UTC

Reply Score: 3

v A defensive action by Apple
by Tony Swash on Fri 17th Dec 2010 14:52 UTC
RE: A defensive action by Apple
by TheGZeus on Fri 17th Dec 2010 15:16 UTC in reply to "A defensive action by Apple"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

It can and has paid for the lawyers.

This company just tried (and probably will, considering the level of corruption in the US patent system) to patent 'shareable apps'.

Considering the visual they presented, it consists of paying for something (is the exchange of money really a neccessary step here?) downloading a program, sending it via a third party to another person, who can do the same, and at some point someone else pays for something... That's called... the Internet.
_that's_ an offensive action, because I'm offended.

Reply Score: 5

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

It can and has paid for the lawyers.
......
_that's_ an offensive action, because I'm offended.


The key thing to note is who copies who.

Apple is the most copied and imitated company in the tech world.

Apple clearly wants to protect itself, it's intellectual property and to position itself to be able to resist offensive legal attacks by competitors who cannot compete with it in the market.

But it doesn't need the law or lawyers to beat it's competitors, it's already doing that and doing so by a big margin.

Reply Score: 0

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"Apple is the most copied and imitated company in the tech world."

which is why everyone copied them after they invented the personal mp3 player.. then copied them after they invented the smartphone.. not to mention copying them after they where first to invent the table form factor and netbook..

most copied.. my ass

Reply Score: 6

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"Apple is the most copied and imitated company in the tech world."

which is why everyone copied them after they invented the personal mp3 player.. then copied them after they invented the smartphone.. not to mention copying them after they where first to invent the table form factor and netbook..

most copied.. my ass


After the Mac all PCs ended up looking like a Mac. PCs didn't copy Xerox they copied Apple's product (i.e. the one that sold in quantity).

Apple invented the mp3 player that people wanted. If Apple had not got a patent protection on the click wheel all mp3 players would have click wheels.

After the iPhone other phones started to look like the iPhone. The Android changed its previous design for Android following the iPhone launch to look like the iPhone.

This is what Android looked like in 2007.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/12/a-visual-tour-of-androids-ui/

Here’s an actual hardware prototype from then.

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/android-hardware-in-the-wild/google-andr...

It didn’t look anything like an iPhone, nor like anything Apple would ever be interested in making. It looked like a BlackBerry or Windows Mobile phone — hardware keyboards and non-touch screens.

Now compare a 2010 Android design to a current iPhone.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/19/droid-incredible-review/

Don’t tell me the iPhone has not completely reshaped the design and UI of smart phones.

After Apple launched the iPad all other tablets (or at least the ones with a chance of selling in any quantity - i.e. not Windows 7 tablets) started to look and function like the iPad.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Yet.. in all those cases.. Apple copied someone else. The company is fantastic at designing products.

They are experts at looking at an existing market then delivering a refined product based on lessons from all the other existing products. Trying to cast them as the victim always copied from is a bit weak though.

Reply Score: 2

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

There was nothing available in the market remotely like the iPhone before Apple created it. With that single phone launch Apple remade the phone industry and redefined what a phone could do. Every smart phone since has just been trying (and failing) to catch up. Mostly by copying iPhone.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

There was nothing available in the market remotely like the iPhone before Apple created it.


Try comparing PalmOS to iOS. The similarities are so striking it's almost like Apple... Xeroxed it.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

There was nothing available in the market remotely like the iPhone before Apple created it. With that single phone launch Apple remade the phone industry and redefined what a phone could do. Every smart phone since has just been trying (and failing) to catch up. Mostly by copying iPhone.


One of the patents with which Nokia are suing Appple is a patent for the "swipe" gesture which is so much a part of the iOS user interface. Another one is the "app store".

http://politicallyillustrated.com/index.php?/lpnh/2057/
Nokia added more salt to Apple's wounds on Thursday by filing a suit in Europe alleging that the U.S. technology company violated 13 patents, including a basic touch-screen maneuver, without permission from Nokia.

“The Nokia inventions protected by these patents include several which enable compelling user experiences,” Paul Melin, a Nokia vice president, told The New York Times. “For example, using a swiping gesture on a touch screen to navigate content, or enabling access to constantly changing services with an on-device app store, both filed more than ten years before the launch of the iPhone.”


Just fyi.

Reply Score: 4

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Don’t tell me the iPhone has not completely reshaped the design and UI of smart phones


It hasn't. There is zero innovative about Apple. You've fallen under the RDF so prevalent around Steve Jobs.

Fact is that everything ever done by Apple ever merely being refined copies of the hard work done by others before them, hailing small modifications as major breakthroughs, new variations on existing technologies as turning points and so on. Apple is simply one big hyperbole. You also forget all the production problems with the iPhone and all the usability flaws - but they don't fit in your perfect Appleworld, do they? ;)

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Aahh.. The Mac-fascists came around again. A wonder these zealots are.

Reply Score: 1

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

"most likely to copy company" is more accurate.

Reply Score: 4

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Apple is the most copied and imitated company in the tech world.

Apple clearly wants to protect itself, it's intellectual property and to position itself to be able to resist offensive legal attacks by competitors who cannot compete with it in the market.

And Apple have themselves copied the inventions of Xerox PARC, Microsoft (yes, copying goes both way between those), Palm, Archos, and many others...

Innovation does not come from nowhere. Any "new" product is just a slightly improved version of an already existing product, with new features brought from other already existing products. Human imagination is based on exterior inspiration, you can't get around this basic fact.

You're basically advocating that at some point, Apple made the "final" product and thus got some intellectual property on it, that it should be illegal to copy what they do from that point. That's horribly wrong. In fact, that's the core failure of the copyright/patent system : copyrights and patents which last too long end up being a tool against the innovation which they're supposed to promote.

These should last at most 5 years, nothing more.

Otherwise, if I code a simple operating system, I'm sure I'm already infringing on something silly like "Switching an AMD or Intel CPU to 64-bit mode" or "Loading a computer program from an optical storage medium". The sole thing which protects me from being sued is that I'm not a major actor in the OS market and no one has an interest in suing me.

Edited 2010-12-19 09:09 UTC

Reply Score: 4

maybe not just android..
by bsdero on Fri 17th Dec 2010 17:26 UTC
bsdero
Member since:
2005-08-29

maybe the target is just google...

Reply Score: 1

Patents are a way to keep things expensive
by MadRat on Sun 19th Dec 2010 15:51 UTC
MadRat
Member since:
2006-02-17

The way these companies use patents is to stifle competition while holding all of their hands over the cookie jar. None of them are particularly innovative on face value, they simple hedge developments and try to gain exclusivity over them. This is the opposite of innovation.

In the end these patents cost society by introducing artificial and needless roadblocks to new developments.

Reply Score: 4

lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

http://lwn.net/Articles/420487/

"The Document Foundation is a major free software project, and LibreOffice a key office suite for creating, managing and sharing documents. By becoming a licensee of the Open Invention Network, we fight software patents - which stifle innovation and encourage predatory business practices - and at the same time we improve the protection of our software projects," said Charles Schulz, Member of TDF Steering Committee.

Patents owned by Open Invention Network are available royalty-free to whichever company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against free software. Through this network of 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 free and open source software. This enables OIN licensees like The Document Foundation to make significant investments, helping to fuel economic growth.

OIN has amassed a broad portfolio of patents, including patents held by nominees on its behalf. These patents are available to all licensees as part of the patent portfolio that OIN is creating in support of free software.


My bold.

Pretty obvious step really for The Document Foundation (LibreOffice). I'm surprised they waited this long, actually, given that after January 23 there are 882 Novell patents that they would no longer have a chance to pick up a free license for.

Reply Score: 2

KDE e.V. Joins Open Invention Network
by lemur2 on Tue 21st Dec 2010 23:03 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

http://dot.kde.org/2010/12/21/kde-ev-joins-open-invention-network

While KDE maintains our position against software patents, this development provides an additional safety net for KDE when it comes to the risks Free Software is facing from such patents today.


In the comments:
Actually, it gives us more. It gives us a license (and protection) to the 800 patents that Novell is selling to CPTN. And or to any other pattents that the OIN partners might sell in the future. Without being part of OIN we would not get that kind of protection.

Reply Score: 2