Open Invention Network was founded as a way to help defend the Linux ecosystem, and by extension much of the Free and Open Source software world, from the risks associated with software patents. Patents owned by Open Invention Network are available royalty-free to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System, creating an umbrella of protection for its members.
“We view an OIN license as one of the key methods through which open source innovators can deter patent aggression,” said Adriaan de Groot, vice president of KDE. “We are committed to freedom of action in Linux, and in taking a license we help to address the threat from companies that support proprietary platforms to the exclusion of open source initiatives, and whose behaviors reflect a disdain for inventiveness and collaboration.”
“Given its leadership in creating a user-friendly computing experience, including its advanced graphical desktop for the Linux community, we are pleased to have KDE become a licensee,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “By doing so, KDE affirms its continued support for open source. We applaud their foresight in taking this step to support both itself and the open source community broadly.”
While KDE maintains our position against software patents, this development provides an additional safety net for KDE when it comes to the risks Free Software is facing from such patents today.