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Does the Open Invention Network (OIN) Become a Patent Harvester?

Posted in GNU/Linux, OIN, Patents at 6:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Piggy bank OIN

Summary: OIN wants to fight patents with some more patents

BASED on the press release shown at the bottom, Heise has just written this short report about the patent pool known as OIN:

The Open Invention Network (OIN) today announced that it was starting a new programme to acquire patents from “entrepreneurial inventors”. The Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition programme offers cash for accepted patents while allowing the inventor to patent enhancements to the accepted patent. The OIN believe the programme will help independent inventors turn their patents into money, without them selling their patents to patent trolls, or companies seeking to “impede innovation”.

This is some bizarre logic, but given the corporate source of the OIN, this may not be too surprising. Richard Stallman correctly pointed out that “fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.” Well, likewise, trying to buy all patents that can potentially be acquired by patent trolls is like trying to put all mosquitoes inside a plastic tube in hope of eliminate malaria. The solution is to eliminate/illegalise patent trolls or eradicate this morbid system altogether.

Below is the full press release.

Open Invention Network Announces Launch of Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition Program With Purchase of V_Graph Patents

DURHAM, NC — 08/03/09 — Open Invention Network (OIN), a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source and an increasingly vibrant ecosystem around Linux, today announced the launch of its Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition program. The program is focused on entrepreneurial inventors, typically unaffiliated with large corporate entities, who have authored key technology patents. The Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition program offers upfront cash consideration for accepted patents and support for further advances in the technology and onward patenting by the original inventor. The program will be an attractive alternative for independent inventors seeking to monetize their patents but not wishing to sell to patent trolls or “corporate trolls” who seek to use patents to impede innovation and competition.

“The program will be an attractive alternative for independent inventors seeking to monetize their patents but not wishing to sell to patent trolls or “corporate trolls” who seek to use patents to impede innovation and competition.”“OIN is pleased to be in a position to offer such a compelling solution to independent inventors,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of OIN. “Our organization acquires valuable technology patents and makes them available royalty-free to any organization that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. Because of this, inventors can be confident that patents they sell to OIN will be available to support continued global innovation.”

The template for patent acquisitions for the Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition program involves patents 5,862,372 and 7,185,316, entitled “Visually Oriented Computer Implemented Application Development System Utilizing Standardized Objects and Multiple Views.” These patents were acquired by OIN from V_Graph earlier this year.

V_Graph is known for its contributions to object-oriented scripting, including the application development system called “O-Zone, the Object Zone,” which is used to build distributed internet-enabled programs. “We sold our patent portfolio to OIN because we are convinced that it is best for people to use our inventions constructively,” noted Robert Morris, V_Graph founder and inventor.

About V_Graph

V_Graph, founded in 1986 by Robert Morris and Leet Denton, is an entrepreneurial company specializing in innovative solutions which allow computers to do useful work. In the mid 1980s, V_Graph developed VirtualVideo, which the Smithsonian recognizes as one of the earliest known modern multimedia systems. For the last decade, V_Graph has been involved in computer language development activities through which it has made significant contributions to the computer and software industries. For more information, go to www.v-graph.com.

About Open Invention Network

Open Invention Network(SM) is a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source and an increasingly vibrant ecosystem around Linux, by acquiring and licensing patents, influencing behaviors and policy and protecting the integrity of the ecosystem. It enables the growth and continuation of open source software by fostering a healthy Linux ecosystem of investors, vendors, developers and users.

Open Invention Network has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. For more information, go to www.openinventionnetwork.com.

Open Invention Network, the Open Invention Network logo, Linux Defenders, Linux Defenders 911 and the Linux Defenders 911 logo are the property of Open Invention Network, LLC. All other names and brand marks are the property of their respective holders.

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