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22 June 2010, 15:55

The Open Invention Network launches Associate Member programme

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OIN Logo The Open Invention Network (OIN) has announced the launch of a new Associate Member programme. According to the OIN, the new programme is aimed at strengthening "the Linux community and empowering open source leaders to ensure ongoing freedom of action for Linux as it relates to intellectual property (IP) rights."

Previously just a licensee, Ubuntu founder Canonical has also been named as the Open Invention Network's first Associate Member. Discussing the announcement, Canonical CEO Jane Silber said, "We view Open Invention Network as one of the key methods through which open source leaders and innovators can deter patent aggression," adding that, "We are committed to freedom of action in open source, and have noted OIN's efforts to actively defend and enable the Linux ecosystem. By becoming an OIN Associate Member, we are supporting the broad OIN mission and its commitment to enable and protect Linux's advancement."

Launched in 2005, the Open Invention Network consortium consists of numerous major software and hardware firms, including a number of Linux distributors. It's goal is to systematically set up a portfolio of patents to protect the Linux ecosystem from charges of patent violation. In return for the promise not to use their own patents against Linux, OIN members can license the patents for free.

A list of patents currently owned by the Open Invention Network and the OIN license agreement are both available online. OIN Founding Members and Licensees include IBM, NEC, Novell, Red Hat and Sony.

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