Google has increased its support for the open-source Linux operating system by becoming Open Invention Network's first end-user licensee. Set up in 2005, OIN is an intellectual property company focused on acquiring and pooling patents to protect Linux against patent infringement attacks.
Google and OIN made the announcement at the LinuxWorld conference taking place this week in San Francisco.
OIN hopes Google becoming a licensee will result in many other end-user organisations, both large and small, following its lead, according to Jerry Rosenthal, CEO of OIN. "Google clearly wants to see Linux succeed," he added. "They've become much more vocal about their support of Linux."
In a blog posting on its web site, Chris DiBona, open-source programs manager at Google, stressed how much the search giant relies on Linux.
"Ever since Google got its start, Linux has given us the power and flexibility we need to serve millions of users around the world," he wrote. Being an OIN licensee enables companies like Google to focus less on patent issues and more on developing software and is therefore "the legal equivalent of taking a long, deep, relaxing breath," DiBona added. "We believe that Linux innovation moves fastest when developers can share their knowledge with full peace of mind."