Open Invention Network Acquires Linux-Focused Patents
Marketed by Microsoft
Purchase of Microsoft Patents Safeguards Linux Community
Durham, NC (September 8, 2009) - Open Invention Network (OIN), a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source, today announced the acquisition of 22 Linux-focused patents that were marketed and sold by Microsoft. The patents were recently purchased by Allied Security Trust (AST) from Microsoft to ensure the patents did not fall into the hands of non-practicing entities (more information on non-practicing entities is available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll, among other sites) that could seek to assert the patents against Linux products. OIN subsequently acquired the Microsoft patents from AST.
"Today's announcement evidences OIN's continued commitment to acquire patents that may be relevant to Linux," said Keith Bergelt, Chief Executive Officer of Open Invention Network. "We are pleased to have purchased these patents and view this as a model of successful collaboration among defensive patent organizations that share a common goal of creating freedom of action for practicing entities across Linux and the broader technology sector. The prospect of these patents being placed in the hands of non-practicing entities was a threat that has been averted with these purchases, irrespective of patent quality and whether or not the patents truly read on Linux.
"Allied Security Trust is pleased that Open Invention Network had interest in acquiring the Open Source patent portfolio. OIN's purchase ensures that these important patents will not be used by patent trolls or others seeking to disrupt Linux and the many companies and individuals advancing this important technology," said Dan McCurdy, Chief Executive Officer of Allied Security Trust.
About Allied Security Trust
AST is a Delaware statutory trust currently with 15 member companies headquartered in North America, Europe and Asia. The Trust provides opportunities to enhance companies freedom to sell products by sharing the cost of patent licenses. To date, the Trust has invested $40 million in patent purchases over its 30 months of operations. Through such purchases, the Trust provides an excellent opportunity for patent holders of all sizes to generate a return on their rights by selling patents to the Trust.
AST is not an investment vehicle. Its purpose is freedom of operation and cost reduction. It generates no profits and does not engage in patent assertions against other companies. AST maintains a catch-and-releas; commitment that returns to the market in a timely manner patents acquired on behalf of Trust members after licenses are secured. The Trust also addresses the increasing need for innovative companies to defend against costly patent law suits. For more information, visit www.alliedsecuritytrust.com.
About Open Invention Network
Open Invention Network is a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source and an increasingly vibrant ecosystem around Linux by acquiring and licensing patents, influencing behaviors and policy, and protecting the integrity of the ecosystem through strategic programs such as Linux Defenders. It enables the growth and continuation of open source software by fostering a healthy Linux ecosystem of investors, vendors, developers and users.
Open Invention Network has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. For more information, visit www.openinventionnetwork.com.
Ketchum for Open Invention Network