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10 November 2011, 10:48

HTC and LG join the Open Invention Network

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Open Invention Network logo Mobile phone maker HTC and consumer device vendor LG Electronics are among the latest licensees to join the Open Invention Network (OIN), the patent pool designed to protect Linux by using patents defensively. In all, 28 projects or companies joined in the third quarter of the year, including the anti-virus makers Sophos and wireless device builder Edimax. The new additions bring the group to over 380 supporters.

But one of the new intake, LG, had another announcement to make: that it had signed a deal with Intellectual Ventures, one of the top five owners of patents in the US. Led by Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO of Microsoft, Intellectual Ventures is known for its controversial patent licensing business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The OIN was created in 2005 by IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony as a defensive measure to prevent patent aggression against the Linux ecosystem. OIN has a portfolio of patents, held by the organisation or its nominees, which are available royalty-free to any organisation which agrees, under the terms of the OIN Licence Agreement, not to use them in legal action against the Linux System. The OIN defines the Linux System as a set of components under an open source licence (or in the public domain) which is distributed for use with the Linux kernel.


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