Microsoft announced that it is joining the Open Invention Network (“OIN”). OIN is a community dedicated to protecting Linux and other open source software programs from patent risk. This means that the Redmond-based giant will make its 60,000 issues patents available to OIN. OIN is providing a license platform for Linux, whether it’s for individual developers, or major companies like Google or IBM.

All OIN members get access to patents, whether they’re OIN-owned, or cross-licenses between other OIN licensees, royalty-free. There is, however, an exception to Microsoft going open source. Windows desktop and desktop application codes will not be part of the 60,000 patents Microsoft brings to OIN.

“We want to protect open-source projects from IP lawsuits, so we’re opening our patent portfolio to the OIN”, said Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Executive VP for the cloud and enterprise group.

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