Linux Builds Patent Tools

The IP commons project will run a patent repository and tap major vendor support

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

August 12, 2005

1 Min Read

The Open Source Development Labs consortium is creating a repository of Linux patents to protect open-source developers from patent-enforcement issues. Called the IP commons project, it also will offer legal defense resources such as indemnification programs.

Vendors involved include IBM, Nokia, Novell, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems. Microsoft, which has amassed thousands of patents and patent applications in recent months, wasn't among them.

"Software patents are a huge potential threat to the ability of people to work together on open source," Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, said in a statement. Torvalds is associated with the consortium.

Florian Mueller, founder of Europe's campaign, which wants to outlaw software patents entirely, says he's skeptical of the project's value because some members such as IBM support the granting of patents on software, which NoSoftwarePatents opposes.

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