9 AUGUST 2012: The X.Org Foundation has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN) patent non-aggression community in order to better protect the future of the X Window System. OIN has granted the Foundation a license to use all of the patents they control or which are covered by agreements with other OIN community members and licensees, in exchange for a pledge from the Foundation to license back any patents which the Foundation may come into possession of. (Currently the Foundation owns no patents, but if we ever do, they will be covered by this agreement.)
This will help protect the Foundation's resources and donations made to it against patent claims, allowing the Foundation to devote those resources and donations to the improvement of the window system itself. The OIN definition of the "Linux System" for which patent claims are covered by the agreement has long included X Window System software packages, and thus the X.Org Foundation receives coverage for many of 1the software packages we release.
Due to the reciprocal nature of the OIN agreement, the Foundation can only enter to this agreement on behalf of the Foundation, as we cannot pledge anyone else's patents to the OIN community. Any vendors, distributors, or contributing organizations which wish to obtain similar protection should contact OIN directly about joining the OIN non-aggression community on their own, as described on http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_license.php.
In order to more broadly protect the open source desktop software systems, the X.Org Foundation is also asking our members and contributors to participate in the defensive patent programs sponsored by OIN, the Software Freedom Law Center, and the Linux Foundation, under the Linux Defenders umbrella, including Defensive Publication to establish prior art citations for new techniques, and helping the X.Org Foundation locate and publish prior art references from our archives of computer graphics and window system research and development stretching back over 25 years, through the original X Consortium back to the project's founding at MIT. Those who wish to help can learn about Defensive Publications at http://www.defensivepublications.org/ and can contact the X.Org Foundation Board at firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in discussions about how to best utilize the X development archives.
The X.Org Foundation is a non-profit public charity dedicated to supporting and defending the ongoing development of open source graphics and window system software, centered around the X Window System, one of the oldest and most successful open source software projects in existence. The X Window System software has become the standard graphical interface across Linux & Unix workstations and servers, and has been included in a growing number of mobile phones and tablets in recent years. More information about the X.Org Foundation and X Window System may be found at http://www.x.org/.
Open Invention Network® is an intellectual property company that was formed to promote Linux by using patents to create a collaborative environment. It promotes a positive, fertile ecosystem for Linux, which in turns drives innovation and choice in the global marketplace. This helps ensure the continuation of innovation that has benefited software vendors, customers, emerging markets and investors. More information about OIN is available at http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/.
Conceptualized by Open Invention Network and co-sponsored with the Software Freedom Law Center and The Linux Foundation, Linux Defenders is a first-of- its-kind program which combines free online intellectual property (IP) publication with defensive patent tools to provide the Linux and open source community an effective vehicle to reduce future patent concerns. Linux Defenders serves as a portal for the Linux and broader open source community and seamlessly links to the Peer to Patent and Post-Issue Peer to Patent platforms that New York Law School manages. The Linux Defenders web site is located at http://linuxdefenders.org/.