Canonical, the sponsor company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux OS have become the first member to sign up to the Open Invention Network’s new associate membership program. According to OSnews, The Open Invention Network exists to acquire patents and license them royalty free to entities which, in turn, “agree not to assert their own patents against Linux or Linux-related applications.” Current well-known companies involved with the OIN include Sony, IBM and Novell.
Not sure what to think about this very un-GPL move, but there’s bound to be a lot of conversation in the ensuing days as the community gets to grip with reality. In a patent war, its sue or be sued.
Perhaps, Canonical should rather be putting more efforts to bolster the work of the Free Software Foundation, since this really just acts to legitimise patent law as far as computer software is concerned. Then again, you probably know the ham sandwhich was patented by the Earl of Sandwhich, and you owe somebody a lot of money for school lunches, don’t you?