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Open Invention Network
Type Limited liability company
Founded November 10, 2005
Headquarters New York City, United States
Key people Gerald Rosenthal
Industry Intellectual property
Services Licensing

The Open Invention Network (OIN) is a company that acquires patents and licenses them royalty free to entities which, in turn, agree not to assert their own patents against Linux or Linux-related applications.[1]

Based in New York City, the company was founded on November 10, 2005 by IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, and Sony. NEC subsequently became a member. Keith Bergelt is the chief executive of the company. Bergelt had previously served as President and CEO of Paradox Capital, LLC [2]

OIN holds the Commerce One Web services patents (previously acquired by Novell for $15.5 million), which cover several fundamentals of current business-to-business e-commerce practice. OIN's founders intend for these patents to encourage others to join, and to discourage legal threats against Linux and Linux-related applications.

The list of key applications considered by OIN, according to Red Hat's Mark Webbink,[3] includes Apache, Eclipse, Evolution, Fedora Directory Server, Firefox, GIMP, GNOME, KDE, Mono, Mozilla, MySQL, Nautilus, OpenLDAP,, Open-Xchange, Perl, PostgreSQL, Python, Samba, SELinux, Sendmail, and Thunderbird.

On March 26, 2007, Oracle licensed OIN's portfolio, thus agreeing not to assert patents against the Linux environment, including competitors MySQL and PostgreSQL[4] when used as part of a Linux system. On August 7, 2007, Google also joined OIN as a licensee.[5] On October 2, 2007, Barracuda Networks joined OIN as a licensee.[6] On March 23, 2009 TomTom joined OIN as a licensee.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Cover Pages web site, Open Invention Network Collects Patents to Promote Royalty-Free Linux, November 11, 2005.
  2. ^ Open Invention Network web site, Management Team. Consulted on June 26, 2008.
  3. ^ Mark Webbink in Linux Magazine, The Open Invention Network, April 27th 2006.
  4. ^ Stephen Shankland (2007-03-26). "Oracle bands with open-source patent group". Retrieved 2007-03-27.  
  5. ^ InformationWeek, Google To Join Group To Protect Linux From Possible Patent Challenge, August 7, 2007
  6. ^ Matt Asay, Barracuda Networks: An unsung hero of open source and a new member of Open Invention Network,, In the News, October 2, 2007.
  7. ^ PRWEB, Open Invention Network Extends The Linux Ecosystem As TomTom Becomes Licensee.

External links



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