Open Invention Network (OIN)
Open Invention Network Formed to Promote Linux and Spur Innovation Globally Through Access to Key Patents
Investors Include IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, and Sony
New York, NY USA. November 10, 2005.
Open Invention Network (OIN), a company that has and will acquire patents and offer them royalty-free to promote Linux and spur innovation globally, was launched today with financial support from IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, and Sony. The company, believed to be the first of its kind, is creating a new model where patents are openly shared in a collaborative environment and used to facilitate the advancement of applications for, and components of, the Linux operating system.
"Open collaboration is critical for driving innovation, which fuels global economic growth. Impediments to collaboration on the Linux operating system seriously jeopardize innovation. A new model of intellectual property management for Linux must be established to maintain advances in software innovation — regardless of the size or type of business or organization," said Jerry Rosenthal, chief executive officer at Open Invention Network. The company will foster an open, collaborative environment that stimulates advances in Linux — helping ensure the continuation of global innovation that has benefited software vendors, customers, emerging markets and investors, among others.
Patents owned by Open Invention Network will be available on a royalty-free basis to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux operating system or certain Linux-related applications.
Open Invention Network believes that creating a new system to manage and ensure access to key patents for the Linux operating system will have a significant economic impact. According to International Data Corporation, the worldwide Linux business is expected to grow 25.9 percent annually, doubling from $20 billion in 2005 to more than $40 billion in 2008.
"Open Invention Network is not focused on income or profit generation with our patents, but on using them to promote a positive, fertile ecosystem for the Linux operating system and to drive innovation and choice into the marketplace," said Mr. Rosenthal. "We intend to spur innovation in IT and across industries by helping software developers focus on what they do best — developing great Linux-related software with greater assurance about intellectual property issues."
Among Open Invention Network's initial patent holdings is a set of business-to-business electronic commerce patents that were purchased from Commerce One by JGR, a subsidiary of Novell.
For more information go to www.openinventionnetwork.com.
"The formation of Open Invention Network signals a growing movement where companies today are looking beyond their own organizational boundaries," said Jim Stallings, vice president of intellectual property and open standards at IBM. "They are strategically sharing their intellectual property and building broader industry partnerships in order to accelerate innovation and drive new economic growth."
"We are proud to be a founding member of the Open Invention Network," said Jack Messman, CEO of Novell. "While Novell has been a major contributor to the open source community and has shown its commitment to promoting and fostering the adoption of open source and open standards, this initiative raises our leadership to the highest level. With this new initiative, users of open source software will have access to a broad set of technologies that will help foster an even more robust community of developers, customers, business partners and investors. This is a breakthrough idea whose time has come."
"Philips is actively involved in the creation and funding of Open Invention Network because we believe that OIN will make the Linux platform more attractive for users. This will stimulate developers to focus their resources on creating high-value, innovative software on this open platform," said Ruud Peters, chief executive officer of Philips Intellectual Property & Standards. "We believe that this initiative will widely boost the use of the Linux platform and its applications."
"By providing this unique collaborative framework, Open Invention Network will set open source developers free to do what they do best-innovate," said Mark Webbink, senior vice president at Red Hat. "At the same time, Open Invention Network extends to distributors and users of open source software freedom from concern about software patents."
"Linux is clearly an important technology for Sony and the global community in general," said Yoshihide Nakamura, SVP, Corporate Executive of Sony Corporation. "We believe Linux and open standards will provide companies with more options for the development of innovative products. We have and will continue to support initiatives like Open Invention Network that promote a positive environment for these developments."
Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See details in the news story New Open Invention Network (OIN) Collects Patents to Promote Royalty-Free Linux." General: "Patents and Open Standards."