Open Invention Network, Microsoft And The Linux Foundation, Mark Five Years Of Impeding Patent Trolls’ Patents

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In partnership with Microsoft and The Linux Foundation, Open Invention Network is marking its fifth year in funding Unified Patents’ Open Source Zone. Since their initial founding of the OS Zone in 2019, OIN, The Linux Foundation and Microsoft have invested substantially to protect open-source software from Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) – sometimes referred to as patent trolls.

“Companies building products using open source technologies must help protect open source communities from threats posed by abusers of low quality patents,” said Justin Colannino, Associate General Counsel for Open Source at Microsoft. “We applaud the innovative approach taken by the OS Zone and call on other companies to support solutions that protect open source innovation from targeted threats.”

The OS Zone protects open source software from PAEs by limiting their ability to leverage their low-quality patents. In the last four years, it has successfully challenged over 54 PAE patents that threatened open source software technologies. Threatened and protected open-source technologies and projects include Apache (Cocoon and mod_evasive), Argo, Bluez, Fail2Ban, FreeMesh & LibreMesh, iFolder, LibVLC, Linkerd, Linux & automotive Linux, Kubernetes, KVM, Magento, Mastodon, Mozilla Firefox, Mycroft, OpenACH, OpenSwan, QEMU and WebM, among others.

“As open source technology continues its inexorable growth into new markets, PAEs have increasingly targeted the OSS community,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “We see significant value in partnering again with The Linux Foundation and Microsoft, to support the Unified Patents OS Zone. We are also pleased to welcome new companies that are providing financial support to continue funding the OS Zone’s operations. More needs to be done, however, because the stakes are becoming higher as better funded PAEs are placing acute focus on critical OSS projects that enable widespread innovation such as cloud native.”

“Across the spectrum of open source technologies, speed of innovation and quality of software development is driven by collaborators working towards a common goal, organized through a project ecosystem that produces artifacts made freely available to everyone,” said Jim Zemlin Executive Director at The Linux Foundation. “We are pleased to continue to support the OS Zone and the removal of poor quality patents exploited against users of OSS projects and technologies.”

The OS Zone receives additional support from Amazon, Apple, CableLabs, Mercedes-Benz, Meta, ServiceNow and Twilio.