|Google's Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge|
|Written by Alex Armstrong|
|Friday, 29 March 2013|
Google has announced a new initiative whereby it promises not to sue developers, distributors, and users of open source software utilizing its patents "unless first attacked".
The announcement of the Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge, was made on the Google Open Source blog by the company's Senior Patent Counsel, Duane Valz, who puts it into the context of Google's commitment to an open Internet and expresses the hope that it will encourage other patent holders to adopt it.
Interpreting the the legalese of the Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge as:
"we pledge not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked"
Valz outlines four key characteristics:
The third of these can be considered a get out clause and ensures that Google, or any company adopting this model, cannot lose out from its open source technologies.
At the moment Google has only applied the OPN Pledge to ten Map Reduce patents and so it's not going to have a dramatic impact of changing the status quo. But it does raise the interesting question of what would happen were it to protect its key Chrome and Android patents, both of which are founded on open-source technology, in the same way.
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|Last Updated ( Friday, 29 March 2013 )|