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Google Will No Longer Sue Over Open-Sourced Patents Unless Attacked First


This morning, moments before the first 15-minute recess of the day at Mountain View Elementary, Googlers stood in front of their monitors, placed right hands over their hearts, and pledged allegiance to non-assertion of open-sourced patents. That’s right – no longer will Google sue “any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked.” Times are-a changing in the patent game, at least Google hopes so with this move, dubbed the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. 

Outside of their promise to refrain from suing anyone, they also fronted 10 MapReduce-related patents that are already widely in use. Over time, they intend to expand this list, but are hoping this lays the groundwork for other companies to jump on board and take the pledge. Google believes this pledge offers transparency, breadth, defensive protection, and durability.

Let’s just hope it lasts longer than the Android Update Alliance.

Via:  Google Public Policy

Cheers John!

  • Hypocrisy, because Google doesn’t trust other entities when they make the same promise. They bought On2 to push a useless “open source” codec – VP8 – despite the MPEG-LA’s pledge to allow royalty free H.264 use for most cases.

  • Ah some “Rules of Engagement” for the mobile industry…

  • Capt. Crunch

    I wish more companies were like this…

  • Samuel Serafim

    So google will let live all Asian os’s?

    • What do you mean by that? Android derivatives? They’ve always been *mostly* legal.

    • 4n1m4L

      They didn’t have issue with allyun. They had issue with a member of their alliance releasing a phone with forked android since that was one of the terms they agreed to to become a member of the alliance.

  • lrohenaz

    I commend them for a step in the right direction… but ultimately, imaginary property should be gone, not just selectively ignored. Props for taking the high road.

    • JasonIvers

      I don’t have any problem with intellectual property, be it patents or copyrights or trademarks, as long as the standards to grant them and the duration of their existence make sense.

  • gregmr

    Meanwhile, in Cupertino…

    • ZZZZ333

      … Apple: “We don’t care. We have to keep suing every Android manufacturer, because we don’t want any android manufacturer alive. Repeat WE DON’T WANT THEM ALIVE”

  • higher ground. taken.