When companies like Apple and Microsoft are abusing the already broken patent system and using their patents as ‘weapons’ against competitors Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In it’s pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked.
Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google’s patents covered by the pledge to other technologies.
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Duane Valz, Senior Patent Counsel, Google writes on the official blog, “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.”
Google is also making a call to other patent holders to adopt similar approach towards patents so as to encourage innovation and development and healthy competition. This is a commendable move by Google to fix an abysmally broken patent system by such initiative through the industry.