What is Open Invention Network?
Open Invention Network was created to ensure a level playing field for Linux, safeguarding developers, distributors and users from organizations that would leverage intellectual property to hinder its growth and innovation. We do this by acquiring and sharing intellectual property to promote a collaborative Linux ecosystem. We do this by providing a royalty-free license to OIN’s strategic intellectual property portfolio and cross licensing Linux System patents between OIN community members.
What is Linux?
Linux is a free operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds with the assistance of developers from around the world. Developed under the GNU General Public License, the source code for Linux is freely available to everyone. The most prevalent form of open source software, it touches people multiple times every day.
It is also the foundation for Android, the world’s most popular smartphone platform. Linux is a key ingredient in the server farms that underpin Cloud and Big Data processing. It powers the most popular search engine and the bank ATM networks. Linux’s democratization of innovation continues to drive down device costs, improve functionality and enable brand-new technologies.
Why was the company formed?
Open Invention Network was formed to ensure that individual programmers, independent software vendors, distributors and businesses have open access to intellectual property related to the Linux System. This will continue to fuel software innovation that leads to increased sales, productivity, flexibility and profits.
What is the structure of the company?
Open Invention Network is an incorporated, Limited Liability Company. We will exist until the threat to the Linux system via costly and ungrounded suits is over.
Who are Open Invention Network’s investors?
Open Invention Network has significant industry backing with financial support from a diverse group of companies including Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Red Hat, Sony, and SUSE (a business unit of Novell).
What types of patents does Open Invention Network purchase?
Open Invention Network acquires strategic patents and patent applications applicable to all areas of software useful in protecting the Linux System.
Why doesn’t Open Invention Network just make all these patents available royalty-free to the entire public, or simply drop them?
We are making the patents available royalty-free, and all we ask in return is that the licensee agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux community.
What does Open Invention Network do with the royalty streams of its patents?
It is not anticipated that there will be any royalty streams.
“Patent troll” activities continue to be a hot topic. What is Open Invention Networkdoing about that?
Patent trolls or Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) thrive on vaguely written and overly broad patents. We have helped to set up the Linux Defenders website where developers can submit prior art and defensive publications to give the USPTO the tools they need to invalidate bad patents.