Earlier this year, Microsoft dragged navigation systems manufacturer TomTom to court over the implementation of “file management techniques used in the Linux kernel.” Though it just
took one month for the two parties to settle their dispute amicably
, the patent infringement suit was a premonition of Microsoft’s upcoming legal onslaught against the open-source community for some, due to the fact that its claims were related to the use of the Linux Kernel.
An intellectual property company named the Open Invention Network (OIN), which purchases and licenses patents in such a way as to shield Linux developers from patent trolls, has now set its sights on buying 22 Linux-related patents from another organization, called Allied Security Trust (AST), that acquired them from Microsoft.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, OIN believes this is necessary to keep avaricious patent trolls at bay . OIN claims to be very close to striking a deal with AST, an organization constituted to protect its members from patent infringement claims. AST counts Google, Hewlett-Packard, Verizon Communications, and Cisco Systems among its members.
OIN licenses its patents for free, but only to those companies that vow to refrain from enforcing any of their patents against Linux developers as a return favor.
Image Credit: DynamicPatents