News & Announcements

Google’s patent pledge: We won’t be the first to sue

While we are waiting for some kind of reform of the US patent system, it’s good too see a major technology outfit like Google going solo with regards to taking legal action on a particular category of patent it owns. It’s a patent pledge that goes like this: We won’t be the first to sue.

It’s a stance Google calls The Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge. The OPN Pledge, for short. The official language of The Pledge states that Google will “…not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked.” (Note the emphasis.)

But patent pledge does not apply to all patents. That’d be counter productive to a commercial company. It just applies to free or open software “to which Google has contributed little or no code, or has not otherwise incurred any patent license obligations under patents it owns.”

The main points of the patent pledge are:

  • Transparency. Patent holders determine exactly which patents and related technologies they wish to pledge, offering developers and the public transparency around patent rights.
  • Breadth. Protections under the OPN Pledge are not confined to a specific project or open- source copyright license. (Google contributes a lot of code under such licenses, like the Apache or GNU GPL licenses, but their patent protections are limited.) The OPN Pledge, by contrast, applies to any open-source software—past, present or future—that might rely on the pledged patents.
  • Defensive protection. The Pledge may be terminated, but only if a party brings a patent suit against Google products or services, or is directly profiting from such litigation.
  • Durability. The Pledge remains in force for the life of the patents, even if we transfer them.

Of all the patents that Google owns to which this pledge can apply, only 10, all related to MapReduce, are covered under the pledge. But that’s sure to change, as the company has promised to add more to the list. A detailed FAQ is available here.

Related Posts

Nuvola Player needs a new maintainer Nuvola Player is a graphical interface for tuning in to all your Cloud-based music services. I first wrote about it a month ago (see Nuvola Player: En...
What the heck is Fog Computing? While many are still trying to figure out Cloud Computing, here comes a rival concept - Fog Computing. It's computing that takes place at the edge of ...
Video Fingerprinting Offers Search Solution The explosive growth of video on the internet calls for new ways of sorting and searching audiovisual content. A team of European researchers has deve...
French Military contributes code to Mozilla Thunderbird The latest release of the open source email client Mozilla Thunderbird contains code from the French Military. The involvement of the Ministry of Def...
With 15 days left, Kano has raised more than $1 million on Kickstarter You know your project will be a hit when you ask an investor for USD $100,000, but instead, you get a check for USD $1 million. That's what's happe...
Can we all agree with Linux Deepin’s way of innovation? The customer, as they say, is always right. So if you are selling something, your top priority is to make it so that people will want to use it. That ...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*