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Microsoft signs up to open-source patent pool

(Image credit: Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock)

Microsoft has decided to join the Open Invention Network (OIN) in a somewhat surprising move to save the future of Linux.

For those unaware of what the OIN is, it's a pool of patents where members cross-license their patents. In exchange, they will not insist on having those patents recognised by companies working on Linux-based projects.

Some see Microsoft's move as surprising as the company wasn't exactly on best terms with the open source community, especially when it comes to patents.

Be that as it may, Microsoft is now cross-licensing more than 60,000 of its patents to participating members, which include the likes of IBM, Red Hat, Oracle or Google.

“We know Microsoft’s decision to join OIN may be viewed as surprising to some, as it is no secret that there has been friction in the past between Microsoft and the open source community over the issue of patents,” wrote Erich Andersen, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, in a blog post Wednesday

“For others who have followed our evolution as a company, we hope this will be viewed as the next logical step for a company that is listening to its customers and is firmly committed to Linux and other open source programs.”

“We look forward to making our contributions to OIN and its members, and to working with the community to help open source developers and users protect the Linux ecosystem and encourage innovation with open source software,” Andersen concluded.

Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.