A 2002 Bain & Co. study published in Harvard Business Review found more than 90 percent of business leaders reported that 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, forecasts the worldwide Linux business to grow 25.9 percent annually, doubling from $20 billion in 2005 to more than $40 billion in 2008.
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 reports 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 the 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 NetworkSM
Open Invention NetworkSM 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 NetworkSM 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 NetworkSM 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 NetworkSM has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony.