[Members] proposal to join the Open Invention Network

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at stpeter.im
Tue Jan 19 00:41:06 UTC 2016


Folks, I've been doing some research on patent pools as a way to protect 
the XSF, companies that use XMPP technologies, and open-source projects 
that implement XMPP. Basically the pool is an agreement to not sue each 
other and not be sued by those who hold patents in a wide range of 
open-source and open-standards technologies (although the OIN website 
talks alot about Linux, the patents in their pool are not limited to 
Linux itself because OIN has spread their coverage into the entire 
application space).

Based on my research as well as extensive discussion on the open-source 
foundations list, I have concluded that there could be significant 
benefit in joining the Open Invention Network, an open patent pool that 
was founded by IBM, NEC, Philips, RedHat, Sony and SuSe (later joined by 
Google). Over 500,000 U.S. patents have been "pledged" to OIN (i.e., are 
part of the pool but retained by their respective companies) by 
participating organizations and thus extended to 1800+ licensees:

http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/community-of-licensees/

OIN also seems to have registered a smaller number of key patents on its 
own:

http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/about-us/us-patents-owned-by-oin/

And OIN has 2300+ open-source packages in their package list:

http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/joining-oin/linux-system/linux-system-table/?cat_id=13&type=table

Finally, OIN has safeguards in place to avoid being taken over for 
trolling purposes:

http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/press-room/faqs/

I see no downside and many upsides in having the XSF join OIN and sign 
their license agreement:

http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/joining-oin/oin-license-agreement/

The XSF can also help introduce individual XMPP-related projects and 
companies to OIN. The XSF would not represent such projects and 
companies with OIN or sign them up as licensees, but instead would 
encourage them to do that directly with OIN so that we can help to 
protect the XMPP ecosystem from patent lawsuits.

I plan to bring this up with the XSF Board of Directors at its next 
meeting, but I also wanted to raise awareness among XSF members before then.

Feedback is welcome, as always!

Peter



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