November 13, 2005
New Linux Venture: Open Source Hero Or Patent Troll?
Although there's been no major intellectual-property challenge to the growth of open source since The SCO Group's still-unresolved multi-billion-dollar lawsuit against IBM a few years ago, several of open source's largest proponents have banded together to ensure that software patent owners won't try to take the wind out of Linux's sails. IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, and Sony this week launched the Open Invention Network, a company that plans to buy up patents to any technologies its members don't already own and that would benefit the Linux movement. In return, the new company will offer its technology royalty-free to any users who agree not to claim that Linux is infringing their own patent rights.