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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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 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: OIN
by TheGZeus on Fri 17th Dec 2010 05:29 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: OIN
by lemur2 on Fri 17th Dec 2010 06:03 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 Parent Score: 6