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Microsoft, IBM Lead Group To Consolidate Linux Patents

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story was innacurate due to an editing problem.

A group of tech giants linked up on Thursday to promote Linux globally, with the unveiling of a new company called the Open Invention Network (OIN).

They are IBM, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, and Sony. Through OIN, they will acquire patents and offer them royalty-free with the proviso that acquirers not assert them against Linux or other OIN members.

"Open collaboration is critical for driving innovation, which fuels global economic growth," said Jerry Rosenthal, OIN chief executive officer, in a statement. "Impediments to collaboration on the Linux operating system seriously jeopardize innovation." Rosenthal previously served as director of IBM’s intellectual property licensing program.

Rosenthal said the OIN is not focused on creating income or profits, but on promoting "a positive, fertile ecosystem for the Linux operating system and to drive innovation and choice into the marketplace." The new organization will be based in Pound Ridge, New York.

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