With the creation of the 'Open Invention Network,' the founders hope to speed the adoption of Linux and more readily threaten Microsoft's iron grip on the OS space. By Carl Bender - November 10, 2005 Print Email Today brought with it the announcement of a new corporate entity founded by IBM, Philips, and Sony to protect and speed the adoption of Linux through the buy-up and royalty-free licensing of a number of software patents. Dubbed OIN, for Open Invention Network, the entity already enjoys the cooperation and membership of premier Linux distributors Novell and Red Hat. The ultimate goal of the OIN initiative is to locate and purchase any number of software patents that may be seen as a potential source for a lawsuit down the line against any profitable distributors and users of the Linux operatng system. As an example, SCO has been engaged for several years in a lawsuit claiming just such infringement on the part of IBM, and this very lawsuit could probably be seen as one of the key catalysts for forming such an initiative as the Open Invention Network. Microsoft presently uses this very line of reasoning attempting to dissuade corporate customers from going to the open-source movement, pushing the notion that such operating systems such as Linux might open up their users to potential legal troubles. In a sense, by 'securing' Linux legally as a viable and risk-free OS for customers to use, the thinking is that adoption will be greatly facilitated throughout the corporate space. Retired IBM VP of IP Jerry Rosenthal has assumed the CEO role at the Open Invention Network and has claimed that the well-funded group already has all that it needs in order to go forth and accomplish it's mission. Sony's role in the alliance certainly stands out, implying a strategic push at the company to spread the adoption of Linux, and perhaps in tandem, adoption of it's new Cell architecture.