Microsoft just open-sourced 60,000 of its patents

Microsoft just open-sourced 60,000 of its patents

Microsoft announced that it's joining the Open Invention Network, an open-source patent group that's dedicated to protecting linux from lawsuits. The OIN embraces - as Microsoft has done of late - Linux "as a key element of open source software".

"We know Microsoft's decision to join OIN may be viewed as surprising to some", wrote the software giant's deputy general counsel Erich Andersen. Enterprise cloud computing depends heavily on Linux and other open-source technologies, and any type of patent dispute involving open-source technology would send shock waves through the system. This resulted in frequent clashes with the Android community and others but Microsoft is intent on leaving that behind.

This makes the company's library over 60,000 patents open source and available to OIN members.

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West also says that many people believe that if someone's black, then that person has to be a Democrat. A year later, West visited the then president-elect at Trump Tower in NY in December 2016.

Since then, times have changed; the IT space is no longer dominated by Windows, but by a collection of platforms, which include Linux-based systems. 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 joining the Open Invention Network comes a week after the Redmond company joined LOT Network as well to help fight patent trolls.

Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation offers his thoughts below. For others who have followed our evolution, we hope this announcement will be viewed as the next logical step for a company that is listening to customers and developers and is firmly committed to Linux and other open source programs. Back in 2013, Samsung reportedly paid Microsoft $1 billion in patent-licensing over its use of Android.

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