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03 May 2011, 16:32

Univention joins the OIN patent pool

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Univention logo German open source business Univention has announced that it is joining the Open Invention Network (OIN), the defensive patent pool for Linux. Univention develops Univention UCS, a preconfigured Linux distribution which includes identity and infrastructure management and is aimed at European enterprise IT.

Founded in 2005 by IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony, the OIN has over 300 members. It requires those companies which wish to join it to pledge not to use their patent portfolio against what the OIN defines as the Linux system. In return, OIN members get a royalty-free licence to use the patents which the OIN hold. Bremen-based Univention says that by joining the OIN it is providing a "legally secure" future for further development of its products and for its customers and users.

Univention did note that it does not hold any software patents and that the company has undertaken to not register any software patents in the future. "In a world where there is intense debate about the efficacy of software patents and their effect on innovators, we join organisations such as OIN to help provide protection in order to concentrate on the development of innovative and open products", said Univention's Managing Director Peter Ganten. Univention is a member or sponsor of a number of organisationsGerman language link.

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