Sci-tech

Microsoft making patents royalty-free for Android OEMs

Microsoft making patents royalty-free for Android OEMs”

The company has announced that it has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), a community that is dedicated to protecting open- source software from patent lawsuits by technology giants like Google, IBM, and, yep, even Microsoft. According to ZDNet, Microsoft's entire patent portfolio is on offer with the legacy exception of its Windows and desktop application code.

Microsoft's membership of OIN is no paper tiger, either: The company has pledged a huge patent portfolio, now 60,000 strong with tens of thousands more to be included in the partnership once they have gone through the issuance process.

"Microsoft's participation in OIN adds to our strong community, which through its breadth and depth has reduced patent risk in core technologies, and unequivocally signals for all companies who are using OSS but have yet to join OIN that the litmus test for authentic behavior in the OSS community includes OIN participation".

Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's executive vice president of the cloud and enterprise group, said: "We want to protect open source projects from IP lawsuits, so we're opening our patent portfolio to the OIN".

Andersen's mention of "friction" is putting it lightly. As a result, Android vendors were pressured to ink deals, forcing them to pay royalties to Microsoft.In 2001, Microsoft's previous CEO Steve Ballmer also famously derided Linux as a "cancer" on intellectual property. This can be done by supporting grassroots efforts like the FSF's End Software Patents campaign, or by Microsoft directly urging the US Congress to pass legislation excluding software from the effects of patents, or both. Without this, the threats can come back with a future leadership change at Microsoft, or with changes in OIN's own corporate structure and licensing arrangements.

Microsoft joining the Open Invention Network comes a week after the Redmond company joined LOT Network as well to help fight patent trolls.



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