Today, Microsoft and Open Invention Network (OIN) announced that Microsoft has become a member of the OIN community. OIN is the largest patent non-aggression community in history with over 2.600 community member companies. It’s mission is to protect core Open Source technologies from patent litigation. It shapes the norms of collaboration as Open Source becomes more industrial and the edge between free and proprietary software becomes increasingly important. Many key innovators license their patent portfolio through OIN, including Google, IBM, NEC, Philip, Red Hat, Sony, SUSE and Toyota. Until now however, one party was missing from the community that became an increasingly important contributor to Open Source technologies, and that was Microsoft. This gap closes today. I believe this is a historic moment that will encourage innovation and dramatically reduces risks for the wider Open Source community.
As part of the research project on “The Interaction between Open Source Software and FRAND licensing in Standardisation”, a workshop was organised by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) in collaboration with Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT) to present and discuss the intermediate results to date. The workshop took place in Brussels on September 18, 2018. I presented a set of observations from the research on the case studies performed as part of the project that are outlined below. Other speakers where Catharina Maracke on the issue of legal compliance between Open Source and FRAND licenses, Bruce Perens on “Community Dynamics in Open Source”, and Andy Updegrove on “Dynamics in Standardisation”.