Google Signs Open Source Patent Pledge

The company released 10 of its patents in what it says hopes will foster innovation and cut down on lawsuits.

In a move the company said it hopes will bring a more innovation, Google has signed a pledge that it will not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless the company is first attacked. "Open-source software has been at the root of many innovations in cloud computing, the mobile web, and the Internet generally," Google's Senior Patent Counsel Duane Valz said in a blog post. "And while open platforms have faced growing patent attacks, requiring companies to defensively acquire ever more patents, we remain committed to an open Internet—one that protects real innovation and continues to deliver great products and services."

The company contributed 10 smaller patents relating to MapReduce and hopes to expand it to more patents in its company—as well as other companies. "Our pledge builds on past efforts by companies like IBM and Red Hat and the work of the Open Invention Network (of which Google is a member). It also complements our efforts on cooperative licensing, where we’re working with like-minded companies to develop patent agreements that would cut down on lawsuits," Valz wrote.

What do you think about the pledge? Will it foster innovation? Tell us in the comments.

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