Open Invention Network adds Microsoft's exFAT to Linux System Definition, Satan spotted throwing snowballs

AOSP 10 also popped into patent non-aggression pact


The Open Invention Network (OIN) has expanded the scope of its Linux System Definition to include the likes of exFAT and Android AOSP 10.

Established back in 2005, OIN lays claim to being the world's largest patent non-aggression community, aimed at removing "patent friction in core open source technologies." It scored quite the coup back in 2018 when former Linux bad guy Microsoft signed up.

Today's news further reduces the patent risk associated with core Linux and the expansion includes 520 new software components, "bringing the total number of Linux System-protected packages to 3,393," said OIN.

While the expansion means OIN's licensee community will see patent risk mitigation associated with using the likes of Kafka, Spark, Hadoop, and KDE Frameworks, it is the incorporation of exFAT that will raise eyebrows.

Microsoft's Extended File Allocation Table has roots in the DOS FAT of old and, while outshone by the likes of NTFS, is more than adequate for a simple file system (and is widely used in memory cards).

The BSOD Bobs were rather precious about their patents back in the day, and many dollars were made from licensing the technology.

A change (or perhaps a growth) of heart within the halls of Redmond in recent years saw Microsoft first sign up to OIN before publishing the exFAT specification last year - a precursor to its inclusion in the Linux kernel.

A year on, exFAT is now effectively royalty-free for OIN members.

Patents relating to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) 10 are also protected, as well as Hyperledger, Apache Avro, Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), Robot Operating System (ROS), Eclipse Paho and Mosquito, among others.

"This Linux System expansion enables OIN to keep pace with open source innovation, promoting patent non-aggression in the core," said CEO Keith Bergelt. "As open source grows, we will continue the measured expansion of the Linux System and, at the same time, recruit more companies into the OIN community to further mitigate patent risk associated with the use of core open source code."

Indeed, as recently as April this year, OIN signed up Huawei as a licensee member. As of August 2020, the OIN member count stood at 3,300. ®


Other stories you might like

  • GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims
    Fine-print crucially deemed contractual agreement as well as copyright license in smartTV source-code case

    The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has won a significant legal victory in its ongoing effort to force Vizio to publish the source code of its SmartCast TV software, which is said to contain GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 copyleft-licensed components.

    SFC sued Vizio, claiming it was in breach of contract by failing to obey the terms of the GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 licenses that require source code to be made public when certain conditions are met, and sought declaratory relief on behalf of Vizio TV owners. SFC wanted its breach-of-contract arguments to be heard by the Orange County Superior Court in California, though Vizio kicked the matter up to the district court level in central California where it hoped to avoid the contract issue and defend its corner using just federal copyright law.

    On Friday, Federal District Judge Josephine Staton sided with SFC and granted its motion to send its lawsuit back to superior court. To do so, Judge Staton had to decide whether or not the federal Copyright Act preempted the SFC's breach-of-contract allegations; in the end, she decided it didn't.

    Continue reading
  • US brings first-of-its-kind criminal charges of Bitcoin-based sanctions-busting
    Citizen allegedly moved $10m-plus in BTC into banned nation

    US prosecutors have accused an American citizen of illegally funneling more than $10 million in Bitcoin into an economically sanctioned country.

    It's said the resulting criminal charges of sanctions busting through the use of cryptocurrency are the first of their kind to be brought in the US.

    Under the United States' International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEA), it is illegal for a citizen or institution within the US to transfer funds, directly or indirectly, to a sanctioned country, such as Iran, Cuba, North Korea, or Russia. If there is evidence the IEEA was willfully violated, a criminal case should follow. If an individual or financial exchange was unwittingly involved in evading sanctions, they may be subject to civil action. 

    Continue reading
  • Meta hires network chip guru from Intel: What does this mean for future silicon?
    Why be a customer when you can develop your own custom semiconductors

    Analysis Here's something that should raise eyebrows in the datacenter world: Facebook parent company Meta has hired a veteran networking chip engineer from Intel to lead silicon design efforts in the internet giant's infrastructure hardware engineering group.

    Jon Dama started as director of silicon in May for Meta's infrastructure hardware group, a role that has him "responsible for several design teams innovating the datacenter for scale," according to his LinkedIn profile. In a blurb, Dama indicated that a team is already in place at Meta, and he hopes to "scale the next several doublings of data processing" with them.

    Though we couldn't confirm it, we think it's likely that Dama is reporting to Alexis Bjorlin, Meta's vice president of infrastructure hardware who previously worked with Dama when she was general manager of Intel's Connectivity group before serving a two-year stint at Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022