Microsoft embraces open source community by joining Open Invention Network

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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".

Open Invention Network today announced that Microsoft has become a member of the OIN community.

The Open Invention Network is funded by Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Red Hat, Sony, SUSE and Toyota. We began this journey over two years ago through programs like Azure IP Advantage, which extended Microsoft's indemnification pledge to open source software powering Azure services. It owns more than 1,300 global patents and applications, and has over 2,650 community members - all of whom are able to use other members' patents and licenses on a royalty-free basis.

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Open source development continues to expand into new products and markets to create unrivaled levels of innovation. Microsoft's VP of cloud Scott Guthrie said that the company wants to protect open source projects from IP lawsuits. The group's CEO Keith said that apart from older Linux Kernel and Android patents, Microsoft's patent library also includes upcoming technologies like LF Energy (an open source initiative for power sector) and HyperLedger (an open source blockchain initiative). This can be done by supporting grassroots efforts like the FSF's End Software Patents campaign, or by Microsoft directly urging the US Congress to pass legislation excluding software from the effects of patents, or both.

Microsoft sees open source as a key innovation engine, and for the past several years we have increased our involvement in, and contributions to, the open source community.

'Joining OIN reflects Microsoft's patent practice evolving in lock-step with the company's views on Linux and open source more generally.

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