Linux Defenders Acquire 22 Former Microsoft Patents
The Open Invention Network announces the acquisition from Allied Security Trust of 22 Linux-focused patents that were marketed and sold by Microsoft.The Open Invention Network, "a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source," on Sept. 8 "announced the acquisition of 22 Linux-focused patents that were marketed and sold by Microsoft," the OIN said in a statement. "Today's announcement evidences OIN's continued commitment to acquire patents that may be relevant to Linux," OIN CEO Keith Bergelt said. "We are pleased to have purchased these patents and view this as a model of successful collaboration among defensive patent organizations that share a common goal of creating freedom of action for practicing entities across Linux and the broader technology sector. The prospect of these patents being placed in the hands of nonpracticing entities was a threat that has been averted with these purchases, irrespective of patent quality and whether or not the patents truly read on Linux."
The patents in question were purchased in July from Microsoft by Allied Security Trust to ensure that they did not fall into the hands of nonpracticing entities, aka "patent trolls," which could seek to assert the patents against Linux products, OIN officials said. Now OIN has acquired the Microsoft patents from AST. OIN backers and financial supporters include IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony.
AST is not an investment vehicle. Its purpose is freedom of operation and cost reduction. It generates no profits and does not engage in patent assertions against other companies. AST maintains a catch-and-release commitment that returns to the market in a timely manner patents acquired on behalf of Trust members after licenses are secured. The Trust also addresses the increasing need for innovative companies to defend against costly patent law suits. For more information, visit www.alliedsecuritytrust.com.