Microsoft have announced plans to join the Open Invention Network (OIN) in an effort to protect Linux from the threat of patent lawsuits. OIN serves as a license platform for Linux for more than 2,000 companies, all of whom will now be privy to over 60,000 new patents.
OIN caters to companies ranging from smaller startups and individual developers, to tech giants such as IBM and Google. The group serves as a "shared defensive patent pool with the mission to protect Linux," according to its website. Its goal is to promote innovation amid the "rise in software patent suits" over the last decade.
With this announcement, Microsoft has taken the step to embrace the open source community. The thousands of companies and developers which are OIN members now have access to these patents and will be able to better protect themselves from lawsuits.
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In an interview to ZDNet, Microsoft executive VP of cloud and enterprise group Scott Guthrie said, "We want to protect open-source projects from IP lawsuits, so we're opening our patent portfolio to the OIN."
With the exception of Windows desktop and the desktop application code, the entirety of Microsoft patents is now open source.