OIN, the largest patent non-aggression community in the world, supports Open Source Software (OSS) and complementary initiatives aligned with our mission to enable freedom of action in Linux and adjacent OSS technologies.

Here are a few organizations and initiatives that we support. We encourage you to get involved as an Open Source Software community member.

Asian Legal Network (ALN)

We teamed with Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and The Linux Foundation to launch the Asian Legal Network (ALN) to provide a leading forum for sharing knowledge and best practices regarding Free Software legal affairs, particularly those relevant to Asia.  The Asian Legal Network’s inaugural meetings took place in 2014, and since its launch we have typically held several ALN meetings every year, rotating between cities throughout Asia.

GPL Cooperation Commitment

Our 7 funding members – Google, IBM (including Red Hat), SUSE, Sony, NEC, Philips and Toyota – have committed to rejecting abusive tactics in the enforcement of OSS licenses by adopting the GPL Cooperation Commitment.

The unanimous support of OIN’s funding members to this commitment reflects the strong belief that responsible compliance in OSS licensing is important and that license enforcement in OSS ecosystems comes with a cultural expectation that all parties will behave reasonably.

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Linux Defenders

Dedicated to supporting the Open Source Software community in the expensive minefield which comprises the modern software patent landscape — including poor quality patents — Linux Defenders provides information on defensive Intellectual Property (IP) strategies to help combat patent aggressors, works to limit patent and applications which pose threats to the community, and provides relevant game-changing prior art whenever possible.

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Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux and collaborative software development. Founded in 2000, the organization sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and promotes, protects and advances the Linux Operating System (OS) and collaborative software development by marshaling the resources of its members and the Open Source community.

The Linux Foundation provides a neutral forum for collaboration and education. It hosts collaborative projects, Linux conferences, as well as generates original research and content to advance the understanding of Linux and collaborative software development.

OIN is an advocate of the Linux Foundation, supports its projects and conferences, and partners with the organization to actively protect Linux and other key Open Source Software projects from patent aggression.

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LOT Network

The License On Transfer (LOT) Network is a nonprofit community of companies created in 2014 to combat Patent Assertion Entities (PAE).  As part of a holistic approach to defensive patent management, OIN recommends that all Open Source community members participate in LOT. An anti-PAE initiative originally founded by Google and Red Hat, LOT is a natural complement to OIN’s patent non-aggression community.

LOT members are shielded from potential suits over millions of patents and remain free to sue each other directly over their patents, sell their patents to other operating companies, or participate in patent pools. If a LOT member sells their assets to a PAE, a conditional license in the LOT Agreement triggers, and LOT members are granted immunity for the life of the patent.  These patents they may be used against organizations that are not LOT members.

Small companies join for FREE, while larger companies pay modest, annual fees.

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OpenChain Project

The OpenChain Project builds trust in Open Source Software by making licensing compliance simpler and more consistent in the supply chain.

The OpenChain Specification defines a core set of requirements every quality compliance program must satisfy. The OpenChain Curriculum provides the educational foundation for Open Source Software processes and solutions, while meeting a key requirement of the OpenChain Specification. OpenChain Conformance allows organizations to display their adherence to these requirements. The result is that Open Source Software license compliance becomes more predictable, understandable and efficient for participants in the software supply chain.

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Software Heritage

We sponsor, support and provide strategic guidance about software preservation for Software Heritage, a project of Inria, the French National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology in partnership with UNESCO.

Software Heritage is a non-profit multi-stakeholder project launched in 2016 with the mission to collect, preserve and share all software that is publicly available in source code form to build a common, shared infrastructure at the service of industry, research, culture and society as a whole.

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Unified Patents’ Open Source Zone

We partner with IBM, the Linux Foundation and Microsoft to further protect Open Source Software (OSS) from Patent Assertion Entities (PAE) leveraging low quality patents, also called patent trolls. Together, this group supports Unified Patents’ Open Source Zone with a substantial annual subscription which also expands patent non-aggression activities for each partner by deterring PAEs from targeting Linux and adjacent OSS technologies relied on by developers, distributors and users.

Unified Patents is an international organization of over 200 businesses which together, take an aggressive stance to deter patent abuse in defined technology sectors, known as zones. Its actions are focused in zones with substantial assertions by Standards Essential Patents (SEP) holders and/or Non-Practicing Entities (NPE). These actions may include analytics, prior art, invalidity contests, patentability analysis, administrative patent review (PTAB), amicus briefs, economic surveys and studies. Unified Patents works independently of its members to achieve its goals.

Small members join for FREE, while larger companies pay modest, annual fees.

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