The Idea

We were created and exist to ensure a level playing field for Linux and Open Source Software (OSS), safeguarding developers, distributors and users from organizations that could leverage Intellectual Property (IP) to hinder their growth and innovation. 

We accomplish this goal by acquiring, developing, and sharing Intellectual Property to promote a collaborative Linux ecosystem.

What Does Royalty-free and Cross-licensing Mean?

OIN acquires and develops strategic patents and patent applications across diverse technologies. These patents and patent applications are deemed royalty-free for community members and therefore, may be used without paying royalties, or license fees for any purpose.

As part of the OIN license, community members agree to cross-licensing Linux System patents and applications to other OIN licensees.

Linux Overview

Linux is a free Operating System (OS) originally created by Linus Torvalds with the assistance of worldwide software programmers. Linux was developed under the GNU General Public License, which is a widely used, free software license that guarantees end users the freedom to run, study, share and modify software. The source code for Linux is free and available to everyone.

The most prevalent form of Open Source Software, Linux, touches people multiple times every day. It is a key ingredient for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which host cloud and big data processing centers. According to Top 500, Linux powers the 500 fastest computers in the world. In fact, NASA, the NYSE, Pentagon, Federal Aviation Administration, Apple and many organizations run on Linux.

Daily uses also include Google, eCommerce, eReaders (e.g., Amazon Kindle), TV (e.g., TiVo, Roku),  wearables (Smartwatches), smart cars, in-vehicle infotainment, games, social media, the medical devices, virtual assistants, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies (e.g., Alexa) and even ATM networks.

Linux System Definition

OIN facilitates the sharing of patent rights between thousands of OIN community members, and the coverage for sharing is called OIN’s “Linux System.” The definition of the Linux System is published here.

OIN Membership

Membership is free and open to everyone.

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OIN Funding

OIN receives significant industry backing with financial support from a diverse group of companies, including Google, IBM, NEC, Philips, Sony, SUSE and Toyota. This financial support funds the organization and allows members to join for free.