With patents becoming the key to success for many technology giants, Open Invention Network (OIN) is all set to protect the shared innovation culture in the market by building a patent “no-fly” zone around Linux and other open source technologies. In an exclusive conversation with Open Source For You, CEO Keith Bergelt reveals the importance of a community like OIN to enable an environment of patent non-aggression.
“We are a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in Linux and other open source projects by leveraging a portfolio of more than 1,200 strategic, worldwide patents and applications. This is paired with our unique, royalty-free license agreement,” says Bergelt.
OIN presently manages a group of more than 2,200 corporate participants that include leaders like Canonical, Google, IBM, NEC, Red Hat and SUSE. Alongside the open source supportive companies, automakers like Ford, Toyota and Daimler as well as electronics manufacturers such as Philips and Sony are a part of the non-profit group.
Bergelt highlights that the major benefit of joining OIN is to access hundreds-of-millions of dollars in patents. The group also enables its members to publicly demonstrate their commitment to Linux and open source.
Growth moves parallel to open source developments
The journey of OIN, which began in November 2005, was initially to support the Linux adoption. However, with the expansion of Linux and the arrival of other open source developments, the community is now empowering several new industries and platforms. “We are now seeing new community members from across all geographic regions as well as new industries and platforms that include intelligent vehicles, NFV (network function virtualisation), telecommunications services, IoT, blockchain digital ledgers and embedded parts,” Bergelt tells Open Source For You.
One thing that drives OIN in the fast-growing, competitive market is its cross-license offering that helps organisations, businesses and individuals access to various patents royalty-free.
“The community seeks healthy growth by promoting shared innovation in Linux and other adjacent open source technologies,” said Bergelt.
Microsoft in views of OIN
On the debut of Microsoft in the world of open source, Bergelt asserted that the Windows maker would reap the benefits of innovation and cost efficiencies derived through community solutions if it becomes a good open source citizen. “We have and will continue to encourage Microsoft to join OIN, and very publicly demonstrate its commitment to shared innovation and patent non-aggression in Linux and open source,” he adds.
Catch the full interview of Keith Bergelt to understand the concept of patent non-aggression for open source developments in the July issue of Open Source For You magazine. To subscribe, visit the website today.