The American and Chinese trade war is near to boiling. The American attempt to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has failed; China might be behind the Marriott data breach; and China might've caused a massive internet disruption. But one perpetual sore point between the US and China -- intellectual property (IP) abuse -- is taking a step for the better. Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial are joining the Open Invention Network (OIN), the pro-open source and Linux patent-protection group. Alibaba -- think of it as China's Amazon and eBay -- has a net worth of over $80 billion dollars.
From robotics to analytics, why NASA is offering startups over 1,000 patents for'free' Startups could get a major lift from NASA if they can find a technology at the space agency that fits their commercial ambitions. Several years ago, I said the one thing Microsoft has to do -- to convince everyone in open source that it's truly an open-source supporter -- is stop using its patents against Android vendors. Now, it's joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), an open-source patent consortium. Microsoft has essentially agreed to grant a royalty-free and unrestricted license to its entire patent portfolio to all other OIN members. Before Microsoft joined, OIN had more than 2,650 community members and owns more than 1,300 global patents and applications.
Technology changed forever when Microsoft opened its patents by joining the Open Invention Network (OIN). The traditional enemy of all things open source is now not just using or contributing to open source, it's allowing other OIN members to use its 60,000 patent portfolio royalty free on the Linux system. Moreover, it's enabling its OIN brothers and sisters to use these patents to defend against patent trolls. Before going further, let me say: I am not a lawyer. But I have spoken to numerous intellectual property (IP) attorneys, and this is the gist of what the deal means.
From robotics to analytics, why NASA is offering startups over 1,000 patents for'free' Startups could get a major lift from NASA if they can find a technology at the space agency that fits their commercial ambitions. By joining the Open Invention Network (OIN), Microsoft is offering its entire patent portfolio to the open-source patent consortium's members. Immediately after the announcement, people asked: "Entire? At a keynote speech at Open Source Summit Europe in Scotland, Keith Bergelt, OIN's CEO, answered some of these questions. Later, in an interview with Bergelt and the OIN Linux System Definition director Mirko Boehm, more questions were answered. The answer, according to Bergelt, is simple: Open source. During a Open Source Summit Europe keynote, Stephen Walli, Microsoft's principal program manager for Azure, explained: Fifteen years ago, a CIO would have said, 'we have no open source, they would have been wrong, but that's what they thought.' Now, CIOs know open source's essential. . . Microsoft has always been a company by, of, and for developers. At this point in history, developers love open source."
From robotics to analytics, why NASA is offering startups over 1,000 patents for'free' Startups could get a major lift from NASA if they can find a technology at the space agency that fits their commercial ambitions. When Microsoft surprised everyone by releasing its entire 60,000 patent portfolio to the open-source community, someone asked me if I thought the move would finally convince everyone Microsoft is truly an open-source friendly company. Sure enough, some folks are still convinced that Microsoft is intending to "embrace, extend, and extinguish" open source. Many others believe, however, that Microsoft has truly evolved and has become an open-source company. On the purely positive side, we have Jim Zemlin, The Linux Foundation's executive director: "We were thrilled to welcome Microsoft as a platinum member of the Linux Foundation in 2016 and we are absolutely delighted to see their continuing evolution into a full-fledged supporter of the entire Linux ecosystem and open-source community."