Microsoft open-sources 60,000 patents to protect Linux

MANILA, Philippines – Microsoft announced Wednesday, October 10 (October 11 Manila time) it had joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), an open-source patent group that works to protect Linux from patent suits.

This makes some 60,000 Microsoft patents available to OIN and the Linux community, which will likely make it easier for Linux developers to do further work without the threat of legal action.

As Microsoft put it, OIN "provides a license platform for roughly 2,650 companies globally. The licensees range from individual developers and startups to some of the biggest technology companies and patent holders on the planet." Members of OIN get access to the OIN's roster of patents and cross-licenses among the licensees of OIN without needing to pay royalties.

The Verge added some things, like Windows desktop and desktop application code, will not be going open-source, though that's to be expected.

Microsoft hopes its move to support the group "will attract many other companies to OIN, making the license network even stronger for the benefit of the open source community." –