Open Invention Network Expands Patent Protection For Open Source Community

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Linux and other open source software is ubiquitous. It touches the lives of people at work and home countless times every day. Surfing the web, using a search engine, making and receiving payments, communicating via email, phone or video; entertainment-on-demand – it’s all running on Linux servers and almost assuredly the client.

Open Invention Network (OIN) is an organization that was formed to protect open source development, distribution and use from companies and organizations looking to leverage their patents in order its growth. For almost 20 years, patent aggressors have been blunted by the work of OIN, enabling massive innovation and growth in open source.

Open Invention Network oversees the largest patent cross-license in history, with more than 3,800 participants. To keep pace with innovation, every 18-24 months, OIN revises and expands its Linux System, which defines, within its cross license, the scope of its patent non-aggression coverage in core open source software. OIN is announcing its twelfth update to the Linux System, the largest in its history.

“Linux and other open source software projects continue to accelerate the pace of innovation across a growing number of industries. By design, periodic expansion of OIN’s Linux System definition enables OIN to keep pace with OSS’s growth,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “As the open source code base continues its incredible expansion, we will diligently work to safeguard the use of Linux and adjacent open source technologies through the addition of core software packages to the Linux System.”

In cloud computing, projects such as Istio, Falco, Argo, Grafana, and Spire are augmenting the existing coverage of technologies such as Kubernetes and OpenStack, for example. In enterprise computing, OIN is adding packages for Apache Atlas and Apache Solr for managing and searching data at scale to existing coverage. IOT/Networking and automotive coverage is also being enhanced through the inclusion of OpenThread and packages such as agl-compositor and kukusa.val.

In embedded, OIN has supplemented coverage of technologies such as OpenEmbedded with Matter and OpenAMP. Additionally, development technologies which support the rapidly growing area of open hardware are included in the current update. Specifically, Edalize, cocotb, Amaranth, and Migen are being added to existing coverage, which includes hardware design tools such as Verilator and FuseSoc.

This update continues OIN’s well-established process of carefully maintaining a balance between stability and adding innovative core open source technology in the Linux System definition. The latest additions all reflect OIN’s conservative and consensus-driven Linux System update process.