In a move that might surprise some people, Microsoft announced yesterday its intention to join Open Innovation Network (OIN) – an open source patent consortium – and make its entire portfolio of open source patents. Microsoft will add nearly 60,000 patents to ISO, greatly expanding its existing pool of 1,300 worldwide patents.
In recent years, the Redmond-based company has generated nearly $ 3.4 billion royalties on its Android-related patents. This has resulted in frequent clashes with the Android community and other people, but Microsoft intends to leave it behind. The vice president of the society, Erich Anderson declared on a blog :
We know that Microsoft's decision to become an ISO member may seem surprising to some; It is no secret that there has been friction between Microsoft and the open source community on the patent issue. For others who have followed our evolution, we hope that this announcement will be seen as the next logical step for a company that listens to customers and developers and is firmly committed to Linux and other programs. open source.
ISO's main mission is to protect Linux from patent prosecution by having members like Google, RedHat, IBM and now Microsoft. The group's CEO, Keith, said that aside from the older patents of the Linux and Android kernel, Microsoft's patent library also includes future technologies, such as LF Energy (an open source initiative for the energy sector) and HyperLedger open source blockchain initiative).
However, the company does not manufacture patents such as Windows source code for desktop and desktop applications. Microsoft's vice president of cloud, Scott Guthrie stated that the company wanted to protect open source projects from intellectual property lawsuits.
Last year, Microsoft announced the Azure Advantage IP program to protect its cloud users from lawsuits. And a few days ago, he joined the anti-patent troll group LOT which has more than 300 members on board.
Microsoft is paying a lot of attention to the open source community, with the acquisition of GitHub being this year's most significant.