A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that over 90 percent of business leaders believed their company’s ability to innovate was critical to creating future competitive advantage and earning profits. Clearly, global business leaders see significant value in innovation and understand that it fuels economic growth.
One of the most innovative and fast growing industries is Linux-based open source software. International Data Corporation, a technology industry analyst firm, forecasted the worldwide Linux market would grow 23.66 percent annually, between 2008 and 2013, reaching more than $35 billion by 2013.
The Power of Linux
Linux has enjoyed a rapid adoption rate due to its reliability, scalability, performance and affordability. It has enabled businesses of all shapes and sizes to deploy software with functionality that was previously the exclusive domain of multi-national enterprises. The quality of Linux-based software being produced has also led to global mass adoption by larger businesses.
The Linux community spurs innovation because individual software developers and companies continue to work from, and build, a shared library of code that is available to all. This model means developers can focus their energies on creating improvements to existing Linux code – significantly increasing the pace of innovation.
In fact, sharing the development workload among the Linux community creates higher-performance software, at a lower cost and with significantly fewer quality issues. The Tower Group reported that Linux-based systems provide a significantly lower total cost of ownership (TCO), delivering savings both in terms of lower hardware and software procurement expenses and in ongoing maintenance and support. In a FLOSS Survey of European organizations, 83% of the respondents reported that “higher stability” was a very important or an important reason for adopting Linux and other open source software.
Open collaboration between developers is critical for driving the Linux System’s successes in software and hardware innovation. Impediments to collaboration and the sharing of ideas threaten to slow innovation.
Open Invention Network
Open Invention Network is an intellectual property company that was formed to promote Linux by using patents to create a collaborative environment. It promotes a positive, fertile ecosystem for Linux, which in turns drives innovation and choice in the global marketplace. This helps ensure the continuation of innovation that has benefited software vendors, customers, emerging markets and investors.
Open Invention Network is refining the intellectual property model so that important patents are openly shared in a collaborative environment. 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 make significant corporate and capital expenditure investments in Linux – helping to fuel economic growth.
Because Open Invention Network ensures the openness of the Linux source code, programmers, equipment vendors, ISVs and institutions can invest in and use Linux with less worry about intellectual property issues. This makes it economically attractive for companies that want to repackage, embed, and use Linux to host specialized services or create complementary products.
Open Invention Network has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Red Hat, Sony, and SUSE ( a business unit of Novell).