Patent Commons

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The patent commons consists of all patented software which has been made available to the open source community. For software to be considered to be in the commons the patent owner must guarantee that developers will not be sued for infringement, though there may be some restrictions on the use of the patented code.

The concept was first given substance by Red Hat in 2001 when it published its Patent Promise.[1] The Patent Commons Project was launched on November 15, 2005 by the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL). The core of the project is an online patent commons reference library aggregating and documenting information about patent-related pledges and other legal solutions directed at the open-source software community.

The similar Linux Defenders project, sponsored by Open Invention Network, licenses many patents to anyone who agrees not to enforce patents that apply to Linux development.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ DeKoenigsberg, Greg (2005). "Building the patent commons". Retrieved December 26, 2012. 

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