Facebook, HP and OpenStack Pledge To Protect Linux

Technology giants Facebook, Hewlett-Packard and OpenStack are among the 74 companies that have decided to become members of the Open Invention Network (OIN) this quarter.

The Open Innovation Network is a group of organisations dedicated to protecting Linux and its open-source offshoots from legal attacks.

OIN said that Facebook, HP and OpenStack along with Fujitsu, Rackspace, and Juniper had agreed to become licensees. OIN members pledge not to launch a legal assault on the basis of their patents based on Linux and also receive access to Linux patents belonging to partner companies without legal repercussions.

The Open Innovation Network was founded back in 2005 by IBM, NEC, Novell, Phillips, Red Hat, and Sony. The consortium now owns 300 patents related to Linux and access to 2,000 other Linux patents belonging to licensees.

Despite several companies supporting the OIN, the consortium’s CEO Keith Bergelt believes that Linux continues to be threatened.

“It's really just anybody who supports proprietary platforms and has a large [patent] portfolio that it likes to continue to use to be able to discourage choice. There will always be those who will be looking at Linux potentially threatening their livelihood, their way of life,” he told Computer World.