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Microsoft just made 60,000 of its patents open source

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Microsoft VP of cloud Scott Guthrie said the company wants to protect open source projects from IP lawsuits.

Microsoft is joining the Open Innovation Network open source patent consortium and making its entire portfolio of patents open source.

Credit: Wikipedia

In a move that might surprise a few people, Microsoft announced yesterday that it is joining Open Innovation Network (OIN)—an open source patent consortium—and making its entire portfolio of patents open source. Microsoft will add nearly 60,000 patents to OIN, vastly enlarging its existing pool of 1,300 global patents.

In the past few years, the Redmond-based company made nearly $3.4 billion in royalties from its Android-related patents. This resulted in frequent clashes with the Android community and others but Microsoft is intent on leaving that behind. The company's corporate VP Erich Anderson said in a blog:

"We know Microsoft's decision to join OIN may be viewed as surprising to some; it is no secret that there has been friction in the past between Microsoft and the open source community over the issue of patents. For others who have followed our evolution, we hope this announcement will be viewed as the next logical step for a company that is listening to customers and developers and is firmly committed to Linux and other open source programs."


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