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06 March 2012, 17:01

Open Invention Network expands its Linux definition and coverage

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Open Invention Network logo By adding more than 700 new software packages to its existing list of over 1000 packages that define a Linux system and are protected within their network of royalty-free cross licence deals, the Open Invention Network has announced that it aims to keep pace with the expanding technology base of a typical Linux system. Keith Bergelt, CEO of the OIN, called the update "an exciting day for OIN and Linux" and said that it "is driven by the dynamic growth of open source software". The company hopes its improved coverage on all the packages will "encourage ongoing collaboration and investment" in the Linux ecosystem.

KVM, Git, OpenJDK and WebKit are among the packages added to the 1878 items long list of packages referred to in the OIN's Linux definition. The previous list of packages, dating back to 2005, included 1124 packages which were typical of a Linux desktop or server system. The advent of now commonly used virtualisation, distributed version control, open source Java, and alternative web rendering technology has meant that a typical Linux system in 2012 was not as well covered by the OIN's agreements as it was in 2005.

Companies that become members of the OIN sign an agreement which grants them a licence to OIN patents in exchange for a royalty-free grant of licence for any patents they have which are used within a Linux system, as defined by the OIN. The OIN was launched in 2005 by IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony with the aim of preventing patent aggression against the Linux ecosystem. It currently has over 380 licensees and supporters, with HTC and LG joining in November 2011 and Cisco and Twitter joining in August 2011.


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