Microsoft makes its 60,000 patents open source to help Linux

Microsoft announced today that it’s joining the Open Invention Network (OIN), an open-source patent group designed to help protect Linux from patent lawsuits. In essence, this makes the company’s library over 60,000 patents open source and available to OIN members, via ZDNet.

OIN provides a license platform for Linux for around 2,400 companies — from individual developers to huge companies like Google and IBM — and all members get access to both OIN-owned patents and cross-licenses between other OIN licensees, royalty-free.

Microsoft joining is a big step forward for both sides: OIN gets thousands of new patents from Microsoft, and Microsoft is really helping the open-source community that it has shunned in the past. As Scott Guthrie,…

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