OSGi Alliance Announces Non-Assert Agreements
Leading Tech Companies Unite to Boost OSGi Technology with Royalty-Free Patent Pledge
Plan Will Encourage Use of Open, Dynamic Software Components in Computers and Devices that Use Java
San Ramon, California, USA. July 26, 2006.
Five high-technology companies and the OSGi Alliance announced today that they will pledge royalty-free access to necessary patents that can speed the adoption of OSGi technology worldwide. The technology creates a service-oriented, component-based environment for developers and provides standardized ways to manage the software lifecycle. These capabilities greatly increase the value of a wide range of computers and devices that use the Java platform. The team includes the OSGi Alliance itself as well as OSGi members Gatespace Telematics, IBM, Nokia, ProSyst Software, and Samsung.
The OSGi Alliance brings together world-class technologists and business experts dedicated to developing and promoting open, industry-standardized solutions to address fundamental new challenges and opportunities posed by a networked world. In today's world, more of the value provided by all kinds of devices is driven by software and the interaction of that software with networks.
Specifically, the six organizations want to spur innovation among software developers by pledging royalty-free access to any of their patents necessary for the implementation of OSGi Service Platform Release 4. This open OSGi platform is the industry-leading component software standard for networked computers and devices. It spans digital mobile phones, vehicles, embedded appliances, residential gateways, industrial computers, desktop PCs, and, most recently, high-end servers, including mainframes.
The OSGi Service Platform offers increased value, because it allows developers to create sophisticated, component-based solutions and then assemble compatible software components on a customized, 'just-in-time' basis. More specifically, it provides a standardized, dynamic module system for applications and services that use the Java platform. Users can therefore manage the lifecycles of software components, which can be installed, assembled, updated, combined with other functions or removed 'on the fly' -- without disrupting the operation of a device.
Today's action is notable because it formally extends royalty-free access to necessary patents owned by these six organizations to the general public to encourage use of the OSGi Service Platform Release 4. Previously, such access was generally granted to full OSGi members. The details of today's action are provided in each organization's pledge. Please see below [and here] to read the pledges.
"As a team, we recognize the collective and individual merits of a cooperative and open approach to innovation and shared patent access for the specification, which will promote adoption of the related technology," said Stan Moyer, President, OSGi Alliance. "Working together, we'll help everyone build on the OSGi Service Platform in ways that best benefit the public. The results will be open and enhanced interoperability and compatibility that empowers organizations to compete on the superiority and ingenuity of their offerings."
For example, the OSGi Service Platform enables the following initiatives:
Nokia and its service providers plan to use the platform for their mobile devices, enabling consumers to download precisely the functions they need for a more customized blend of software and capabilities.
IBM will continue to leverage the benefits of OSGi technology to deliver business value across its breadth of hardware and software products. Some recent examples include the IBM System p5 server family and software products such as WebSphere Everyplace Deployment and Lotus Sametime. These products all deliver a precise and composable set of services for the customer by exploiting the dynamic module capability for Java made possible by OSGi technology.
Samsung Electronics' vision is to become a leading company in the digital-convergence market where the Internet, wireless communications, networked systems and contents will be united. Samsung believes that the OSGi Service Platform is a key enabling technology that is bridging services among its markets, including its home and mobile products.
Gatespace Telematics provides and uses the platform as the key component in solutions for telematics, mobile, residential and industrial markets. The availability of open-source implementations of the OSGi Alliance's standardized, well-designed dynamic module system is changing the landscape and driving wide adoption of OSGi technology. For example, Volvo Bus is building its next-generation telematics gateway using an open-source OSGi platform.
ProSyst's OSGi based solutions for client and server-side as well as its ready-to-use and custom services and applications are deployed by many Fortune 100 companies, like Siemens, Telefsnica and Hewlett Packard. Manufacturers, service providers and developers benefit from the cost- and time-effective development of devices and applications as well as the extended lifecycle capabilities by remotely and securely providing new software components that range from gaming and video on demand to energy management, dynamic off-board navigation and remote patient monitoring.
Today's patent pledges will help the broader OSGi community develop and enhance new and existing software affordably, transparently, efficiently and reliably. It will also help the OSGi Alliance, its members and its supporting community deliver industry-leading, flexible, Java based components that accommodate the wide range of business models used worldwide for software and services while generating new and profitable business models for the future.
Leading Tech Companies Unite to Support OSGi Technology with Royalty-Free Patent Pledge
Plan will encourage use of open, dynamic software components in computers and devices that use Java
The OSGi Alliance and five high-technology companies announced on July 26, 2006 that they will pledge royalty-free access to necessary patents that can speed the adoption of OSGi technology worldwide. The technology creates a service-oriented, component-based environment for developers and provides standardized ways to manage the software lifecycle. These capabilities greatly increase the value of a wide range of computers and devices that use the Java platform.
The OSGi Alliance Patent Commitment to the OSGi Service Platform, Release 4 Specifications:
Subject to the exception provided below, and with the intent that developers, users and distributors of Implementations of final OSGi Service Platform, Release 4 specifications rely on our promise, the OSGi Alliance hereby commits not to assert against any such Implementations any of its patents, U.S. or foreign, now owned or hereafter acquired, that cannot be avoided in any such Implementation.
In order to foster innovation and avoid the possibility that a party will take advantage of this pledge and then assert patents or other intellectual property rights of its own against Implementations of the above, thereby limiting the freedom of the OSGi Alliance or any other implementer to create innovative Implementations, or the freedom of others to distribute and use such Implementations, the commitment not to assert any of the OSGi Alliance's U.S. or foreign patents is irrevocable except that the OSGi Alliance reserves the right to terminate this patent pledge and commitment only with regard to any party who asserts (or is related to or joins such party in asserting) patents or other intellectual property rights in a lawsuit against an Implementation of a final OSGi Service Platform, Release 4 specification. For the purpose of this pledge, an "Implementation" of a final OSGi Service Platform, Release 4 specification includes only those portions of a computer program that are intended to accurately implement the normative portions of such specification (subject to normal, inadvertent programming errors) and that do not intentionally introduce incompatibilities that hinder interoperability.
Review the patent software commitments to the OSGi Service Platform, Release 4 Specifications using the following links:
Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See also: (1) Patent Pledges and the Patent Commons; (2) Patent Contributions: CA, IBM, Nokia, Novell, RedHat, Sun.