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Oops, No Microsoft in Patents Venture

It's one of the perils of blogging. Yesterday I rushed into print after reading a story saying that a joint venture formed to promote Linux by acquiring patents included Microsoft. "You're kidding me, right?" I wrote. It turns out that somebody was, if not deliberately kidding, at least mistaken. An updated version of the story removes Microsoft from the list of companies putting money into the Open Innovation Network.
It's one of the perils of blogging. Yesterday I rushed into print after reading a story saying that a joint venture formed to promote Linux by acquiring patents included Microsoft. "You're kidding me, right?" I wrote. It turns out that somebody was, if not deliberately kidding, at least mistaken. An updated version of the story removes Microsoft from the list of companies putting money into the Open Innovation Network.I didn't THINK that made any sense. I'm deleting my original blog entry. Will somebody turn out the orange alert light?

Of course, the corrected story still doesn't make clear what the Open Innovation Network is going to do. It says only that the group will promote Linux by acquiring patents to offer royalty-free.

The U.S. patent system is seriously broken in ways that can only damage the ability of companies to create innovative software. Microsoft has been one of the big players behind that situation. As the piece points out, the Redmond company has been filing new software patent applications at a fierce rate, and has made noise about Linux violating 200 Microsoft patents.

That's why it made no sense to me that Microsoft should part of the OIN group. The article suggests that the recent storms of litigation may be reshaping companies' attitudes toward substituting patent lawsuits for genuine product innovation. If it's true, I hope so. Microsoft's lost a couple of major patent suits. Maybe that will reshape its attitude some, too.

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